Britta Elmberg writes about the losses incurred by war
The children’s choir sweetly sings
Amidst the sound of guns and tolling bells
As many wreaths in rows are laid
With words of blessing and prayer said.
So many young men dead,
Their voices gone
With only a concrete slab to name them;
And poppies, red and bright,
To prick us into presence
And remind us of their dear and final sacrifice.
On what distant shore
Did these young men run?
On what broken ground
Did they see their last light of day?
The tearless sun throbbing in the impartial air
Watching their mothers robbed of their son’s cradles,
Love and life cut short,
All promise of a future gone.
And yet, we learn,
No battle is fully lost
Though fighters perish and hopes will stray:
Those left to trudge must soldier on,
Grasp tightly to the blood-red poppy, strong.
Britta Elmberg (BMus 1988, BEd 1988) taught for the Toronto District School Board, but left teaching in 1996 to look after her children. Elmberg is now a single mother to three children, having lost a child to brain cancer in 2006. Remembrance Day services are always very moving for Elmberg since her son lost his own battle against cancer.
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