Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dawn Service, April 25th 2009

The Australian War Memorial
a beacon glowing in the dark
for all those who seek to pay their respects

The sun is not yet up
it will not rise until we are done

Australian and New Zealand flags
fly at half-mast
surrounded by an immeasurable crowd
Many carry candles, others torches
some a heavy heart

Military men, active, retired
joined by civilians

Thousands wear medals on their left breast
a sign of their own commitment
Some wear them on the right
medals of relatives no longer here
to wear them themselves
Some have medals on both sides
a family tradition
Left, right
left, right
military precision

Cockatoos burst from a tree
white against a cloud filled sky
still waiting for the dawn

The lights go down
a man speaks
the service begins
in front of the memorial
now held in the glow of a single light
where a man will soon play
The Last Post

Showers come and go
nobody notices

Birds screech their approval
as background accompaniment
to the Padre’s words
thoughts and prayers for those
whose names appear on the walls
of the memorial
as well as those who returned
and were no less brave

For some of us
the alarm rang at three A.M.
to get us here on time
Why did we come?
to remember
to say thanks
to represent some one long gone
or an ideal
to make a promise
that it was not for nothing
regardless of what madness
threatens our country

We will never forget
we will never surrender
we will never let you down
as you did not let us down

The sun is not yet up
but due to many brave young men
the sun will always rise

© Bernard J Rossi

No comments:

Post a Comment