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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick. http://www.faysampson.co.uk

Lest We Forget: Remembrance Sunday

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ November 13, 2011

I have twice had the experience of spending Remembrance Sunday, AKA Veteran's Day, in other countries in recent years and have found it a most moving experience both times. Both in England three years ago and this year in Canada the heartfelt nation-wide observances and the church services have been extremely affective.

This year in Calgary we began at my grandchldren's school on Thursday (since Friday, November 11,  was a provincial holiday).      Each of the younger classes had prepared a musical number, veterans laid a wreath and the entire student body and guests observed a full minute of silence, ending with a prayer.

Church today at St. John the Evangelist in Calgary began with an Act of Remembrance:

"Let us remember before God and commend to his sure keeping those who have died for their country in war; those whom we knew and those whose memory we treasure; and all who have lived and died in the service of mankind."

A veteran placed a wreath on the War Memorial as another veteran read: "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." (Ode of Remembrance, Lawrencfe Binyon.)

We responded: "We will remember them."

A bugler played "Last Post" and we kept silence for two minutes, followed by "Reveille."

"Remember in thy Kingdom, O Lord Christ, those who counted not their lives dear unto themselves, but laid them down for their friends: Shed forth upon them the light of thy countenance, and grant that they may be numbered among the hosts of thy redeemed, going forth conquering and to conquer with thee, their everlasting Lord; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end."  Amen.

Then the hymn, "I Vow to Thee My Country"

I vow to thee, my country—all earthly things above—
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago—
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.

And at the close of the service, "O Canada" and "God Save the Queen." 

As the mother of two military sons, one in the United States Air Force Reserve and one in the US Army Reserve, I wore my poppy with pride. and say my own thank you to all who have served so that my grandchildren can grow up in a free world.  

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

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