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Thanks to the bravery and sacrifice of a few, so many may now live in freedom.

How can we ever thank them enough?

In Flanders Field by John McCrae 1872 – 1918

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Suicide in the Trenches by Siegfried Sassoon 1886 – 1967

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.

Any Woman to a Soldier by Grace Ellery Channing 1862 – 1937

The day you march away let the sun shine,
Let everything be blue and gold and fair,
Triumph of trumpets calling through bright air,
Flags slanting, flowers flaunting not a sign
That the unbearable is now to bear,
The day you march away.

The day you march away this I have sworn,
No matter what comes after, that shall be
Hid secretly between my soul and me
As women hide the unborn
You shall see brows like banners, lips that frame
Smiles, for the pride those lips have in your name.
You shall see soldiers in my eyes that day
That day, O soldier, when you march away.

The day you march away cannot I guess?
There will be ranks and ranks, all leading on
To one white face, and then the white face gone,
And nothing left but a gray emptiness
Blurred moving masses, faceless, featureless
The day you march away.

The Soldier by Rupert Brooke 1887–1915

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

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