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Caleb Strange
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Manchester UK
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A bit of background for those of you who do not share my cultural references.

Here in the UK, on Remembrance Sunday, we remember all those who have suffered and died in conflict in the service of their country and all those who mourn them. Remembrance Sunday occurs on the second Sunday in November – this year it’s on the 13th – close to Armistice Day (‘On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month’), which marks the end of the First World War.

Also, at this time of year, the Royal British Legion – a charitable organisation which looks after the welfare of ex-service and servicemen/women and their dependents – sells paper poppies (36 million last year) as an act of remembrance and to raise money for its work: poppies being symbolic for the British of sacrifice in war. I should add that wreaths of these pretty flowers are laid, on Remembrance Sunday, at the Cenotaph in London, and at War Memorials around the country.

Finally, at the end of the Festival of Remembrance (held annually at the Royal Albert Hall), millions of poppies are released from the ceiling, onto the audience, in memory of those who fought and died. Each petal represents a life lost. They teem silently through the air, and when they come to rest, they make a vast carpet of the deepest red. It is very moving.


(On the table before you, you place a dozen or so black and white photographs. Some pictures show young, bright-eyed men, proudly posing in old military uniforms. Other pictures show scenes of terrible horror from the trenches of the First World War. And you say:)

‘In the First World War, some of the bloodiest fighting took place in the Flanders and Picardy regions of Northern France. And in the aftermath of this devastation, all that would grow on the bruised ground were the poppies.’

(You remove the paper poppy from your lapel and examine it thoughtfully.)

‘Now John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Canadian Armed Forces, wrote of this scene:
“In Flanders Fields the Poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place.”’

(As you say this, you pluck the petals, one by one, from the poppy, and let them fall onto the photographs. Then you put away the stalk. Next you say:)

‘So many millions of lives swept so horribly away.’

(As you say this, you sweep the fallen petals towards you with your RH to collect them in your LH, which closes around them. Then with your RH you pick up the four or five photographs of the young soldiers. You look at these poignant pictures as you say:)

‘And we say:
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.”’

(You begin to fan your closed LH with the photographs you hold in your RH, and a myriad of scarlet petals falls from your left fist onto the table, as you continue:)

‘“At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”’

(And, in silence, still the red petals fall.)

Sincere regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
Bill Ligon
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A sure sign of a misspent youth:
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Beautiful, Caleb. It gave me chills just reading it!
Author of THE HOLY ART: Bizarre Magick From Naljorpa's Cave. NOW IN HARDCOVER! VIEW: <BR> ORDER:
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The City of Ithobaal I son of Hiram I
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Awesome! gave me goose bumps!!
Double posters should be shot!

No really!!
sinnead zenun
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Yes beautiful and emotional.. thanks for sharing
Caleb Strange
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Many thanks for your kind words, guys. I appreciate them. Smile
-- QCiC --
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