This morning I snuggled up beside my daughter in her much loved double bed, and read aloud from some favourite picture books for Remembrance Day. She's almost thirteen years old, but still not too old for a cuggle and a story, for which I am profoundly grateful. What will happen when she is, I shudder to think.
The books we read are the ones shown above, and I'll admit to tearing up a little when I read them - as I generally do. Jemimah is, of course, too old to think this is okay. She mocks, she mocks. So cruel.
Remembrance Day in our home is a day for commemoration, not celebration. We read these books to remember those who have fought for the freedom we all hold so dear. We remember family members, and we mostly have a pretty good chat about other important stuff as well.
I'm surprised that there are so few books designed especially for Australian Remembrance Day. Most of our Aussie books are actually Anzac Day books. Still, these three are pretty good, even if one is Canadian.
You can read my pick of books for Remembrance Day here.
I'm also keen to check out One Minute’s Silence by David Metzenthen and Michael Camilleri. Have you read it?
Do you read picture books for Remembrance Day too? Have you a favourite? Do tell.
We will remember them.
For the fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
Laurence Binyon (1869–1943)