Remembrance Day 2012

This poem was written by my grandfather, Horace Coon, while serving in France during the first World War. He was 23 years old. He mailed the poem to his Dad back in Canada, who had it published in the local newspaper in 1916.

We Wonder Why?

By Horace W. Coon

A land so fair, rich, fertile and so good,

Gently rolling to the northern sea,

Hill and dale, green fields, babbling streams and wood,

Once so peaceful, pleasant and so free,

But now scarred as with a mighty blight,

And from its laboured breath ascends a sigh;

Its beauty marred, and devastated quite:

I pause to meditate -- AND WONDER WHY?

A dug-out, damp and fresh in mother earth

Burrowed ‘neath the ground and making there

A dwelling place for man without a hearth

Where for safety he may fly as to his lair,

His bed for blankets two, his pillow is his kit

While just above, his rifle slung on high

O’er this abode, outside the night is lit

By fire and bursting shell -- I WONDER WHY?

 

A home, so far removed from dug-out, trench or hut

Yet not distant in spirit, thought or loyalty,

Tranquil it seems, all comforts have they there, but

Mother, sister, sweet-heart, all anxiety;

For far away, in place with hardship fraught

A brother, son or much-beloved may lie

Victim of savage foe, who has taught

The world that hate still raged in human heart -- BUT WHY?

 

O! Why this desolation? A country laid in waste

As stricken by a plague? While struggling there

Like dogs of war, loosed, and face to face,

Men cut down men, deserting home so fair,

Ah! Why this hell? And such poor mortals we

Forget that we are judged by One so high:

God understands -- ‘Tis now for us to see

Where miserably we have failed -- YET WONDER WHY?

 

“HWC” - somewhere in France, 1916.

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Our Principles

> Non-Violence

A culture of cooperation, caring and understanding is essential to ending violence in our society. Rehabilitation rather than vengeance must be the goal of our justice system.

> Self-Determination and Citizenship

We must have the opportunity and the responsibility as citizens to contribute to the common good, which requires that all have the capacity to participate in community life.

> Social Justice and Equality

Everyone must have equal access to the necessities of life and be treated with dignity and respect. Treaties with First Nations must be honoured.

> Participatory Democracy

We must be able to participate in decisions that affect our lives and be guaranteed that our votes are reflected in the make-up of the Legislative Assembly.

> Local Self-Reliance

Our communities should be in control of their own destinies, supported by strong local economies, and sustained by local sources of food and renewable energy.

> Living within Our Ecological Means

We must live within the ecological limits of the Earth, while meeting our needs without threatening our children's future or the survival of other species.

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