A group of World War veterans marched down Fraser Highway to the Aldergrove cenotaph in front of the Royal Canadian Legion 265. (Sarah Grochowski/Black Press Media)

A group of World War veterans marched down Fraser Highway to the Aldergrove cenotaph in front of the Royal Canadian Legion 265. (Sarah Grochowski/Black Press Media)

LETTER: Aldergrove Remembrance Day inspired poet

The public still gathers to honour veterans at solemn Remembrance Day services

Dear Editor,

I attended the Aldergrove Remembrance Day ceremony as usual and was leaving a bit early, because of the cold wind on my under-dressed body, when I heard the single plane and then the bi-plane fly over. They got my attention as I rounded the corner just east of the gathering and I continued looking east in the sky and saw two eagles over the crowd. That prompted the poet in me to give it another go this year when I got home, so here is today’s piece in honour of those honouring the dead.

We still remember –

Thousands of us, all across the land

In rain and snow, sun, wind and cold

Thinking of those who risked their lives, or died

In mud-filled trenches and desert sand

Living and dead in mad embrace of armed conflict

And its tearing, searing, hate and death.

Today we remember the honoured dead

Who shaped the world we live in now

Only free because they are not

They are gone – and those who returned to home and bed

Have carried the haunting prison of remembered tragedies

Forever in their minds, and buried deep inside.

Overhead, three small, symbolic planes roar by

Banking against the cold, brisk air

One lone, poignant fighter follows

Then a World War I biplane plows the sky

Slowly circling the gathered crowd below

Who watch and ponder what it all had meant.

And then – two majestic eagles soar and circle round

Close around each other – a dance of life above those

Who gather to remember the dead

The many, many dead of conflicts far away on foreign ground

Not yet part of earth’s forgotten, ancient history

As life goes on for we who live…

And we remember, still.

J.A. Sclater, Aldergrove