J.C. This is Remembrance Day 1964.
J.C. I learned this over there, said a soldier lad to me, that the General and the Private are as like as they can be. Though one is giving orders and the other one obeys, there’d be no such thing as freedom if they pulled in separate ways. The thing that counts in battle, is the centralized control, with everybody in it, set to reach a common goal. The General wasn’t fighting just because he loved a fight, he’d the everlasting notion that his country’s cause was right. The flag that waved above us, meant as much to him as me, the thing that he was after, wasn’t fame but victory. And I came to understand it that beneath the shoulder straps and the markings on the tunic we were ordinary chaps. He was thinking of his children in the way I thought of mine, he was wondering where men went when death took them from the line. Oh, I don’t know how to tell it but down underneath the skin we were all alike in Flanders with a common goal to win. And we just forgot our notions and separate ranks and creeds and worked and pulled together, you know that’s all a nation needs. I learned this over there, said a soldier lad to me, the General and the Private are as like as they can be. And when people come to know it when they learn that every man wants to win his way to heaven and to do the best he can they’ll just work and pull together for the glory of the soul and be one united army marching toward a common goal.
J.C. God, give us strength to face each day, to know that we are safe always, to know sufficient is Thy grace, to guard our lives and dwelling place, to keep our minds so close on Thee that from all fear we shall be free. How could disaster come our way, if by Thy side we walk each day. Send our prayer up north, south, east, west that every country may be blessed and that thoughts of war in man shall cease. And all join hands in love and peace. That o’er the hills at midnight clear once more the promise we shall hear. The Christ in all is born again, peace on earth, goodwill to men. Then from all corners of the earth the peace of God shall find new birth. And men arise in love and joy to build a world and not destroy.
J.C. Today is Remembrance Day. It is the day when we remember with gratitude and humility the dead of two world wars and of another conflict in Korea. It is fitting that we dedicate a day a year to remember those who fought the good fight, who gave their all without question, so that we and the world might be free. It is not their fault that it is a precarious freedom, that it is an uneasy peace, in a world where all men should be brothers. These men who fought and died for us earned a freedom that must always be guarded. We must see to it that it is guarded, otherwise we let them down. We must never take freedom for granted. Free men today are guarding freedom in the far reaches of Asia, and so it should be. The older generation among us today looks back to the battlegrounds of 1914/18. The younger generations recall the Fs and the battles of the skies over Britain, the war on the oceans and the onslaughts on foreign shores and at Korea. Once more we remember and we salute those who gave their lives for us. We owe it to them again to gird ourselves and prepare to lay down our lives, if necessary, so that they may not have died for a hopeless cause. And now, before we observe the two minutes of silence, the last post.
J.C. May we now bow our heads for the two minutes of silence.
(Music: The Lord’s Prayer)
J.C. He was just a small church parson when the war broke out, and he looked and dressed and acted like all parsons that we see. He wore the cleric’s broad cloth that he hooked his vest behind, but he had a man’s religion and he had a strong man’s mind. And he heard the call to duty and he quit his church and went and he bravely tramped right with them everywhere the boys were set. He put aside his broad cloth and he put the khaki on, said he’d come to be a soldier and was going to live like one. That he refereed the prize fights that the boys pulled off at night and if no one else was handy he’d put on the gloves and fight. He wasn’t there a fortnight ere he saw the soldiers’ needs, and he said, “I’m done with preaching, this is now the time for deeds.” He learned the sound of shrapnel, he could tell the size of a shell from the shriek it made above him and he knew just where it fell. In the front-line trench he laboured and he knew the feel of mud and he didn’t run from danger and he wasn’t scared of blood. He wrote letters for the wounded, he cheered them with his jokes and he never made a visit without passing ‘round the smokes. Then one day a bullet got him, as he knelt beside a lad who was going west to ride speedy and they both seemed mighty glad, ‘cause he held the boy’s hand tighter and he smiled and whispered low, “Now you needn’t fear the journey over there because with you I’ll go.” And they both passed out together, arm in arm I think they went, he had kept his vow to follow everywhere that the boys were sent.
(Music: I Tell You They Have Not Died)
J.C. In pastures green, not always, sometimes He who knoweth best, in kindness leadeth me, in weary ways where heavy shadows be. Out of the sunshine, warm and soft and bright, out of the sunshine into the darkest night. And I oft’ would faint with sorrow and the fright, only for this that I know He holds my hand. So whether in green or desert land I trust, although I may not understand. And by still waters, no not always so, oft’ times the heavy tempest ‘round me blow and nor my soul, the waves and billows go. But when the storms beat fiercest, and I cry aloud for help, a master standeth by and whispers to my soul, “Blow, it is I.” Above the tempest wild, I hear Him say, “Beyond the darkness will lie the perfect day. And every path of thine, I lead the way.” So whether on the hilltop high and fair I dwell, or in the sunless valleys where the shadows lie, what matters, He is there and more than this, wherever the pathway lead, He gives to me no helpless broken reed but His own hands are fishing for my need. So where He leads me I can safely go, and in the blessed hereafter I shall know, why in His wisdom He hath led me so.
(Music: Walk On)
J.C. This has been Remembrance Day 1964.