Saturday, December 23, 2006

Prayers go out to our Armed Forces

I received this touching poem today and it caused me to stop and think about the many young men and women in our military who are not with their families at this special time of the year. But it also made me think of my father Gordon Barfoot who was just a boy of nineteen when he left Greenfield Park, his home, his young wife Ruth and his baby daughter to fight for freedom in a foreign land in world war 11.

I wonder if he was scared, but put on a brave face because he understood, even at that young age, that going to war was a duty that he must carry out for his country and there was no question that he was proud and willing to do so.

He was in Europe for almost four years so there must have been times when he longed to be home with his young family, his mother Florence and his sister Phyllis particularly at this time of the year. He did return home to us and like so many veterans he never wanted to talk about his experiences.

And so while I don't know for sure, I do wonder if my farher, like the soldier in the poem ever found himself alone and cold, sleeping on just a blanket at Christmas time. But what I do know for sure is that my father would not have wanted to quit until the job was completed. And he certainly would not have wanted anyone to feel sorry for him.

He was a humble man and if he had been asked "what are you doing here" he would have said " just doing my job!'. He has been gone almost nineteen years now and oh how I miss him especially this time of the year..
Donna Galletti
I hope everyone has a very merrry Christmas and happy new year.
I would like to wish everyone good health and contentment in the new year. Donna Galletti

Thanks Donna

Hi Marty,

Here in Halifax we see the results of our role and obligations in world affairs up close. Frigates and destroyers leaving and arriving in Halifax harbour remind us of our commitments and most especially of the commitment of our men and women in the Forces. Many are still in Afghanistan over this Christmas time and the following poem struck me as a poignant reminder that there are many who should be remembered in our thoughts and prayers at this time.

All the best to you and yours over Christmas and have a healthy New Year.

Another Doug G. (Gregory)

T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE,
MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.


I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY,
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO,
IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.


I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.


NO STOCKING BY THE MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES,
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.


WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT,
CAME THROUGH MY MIND.


FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.


THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR,
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.


THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED,
A CANADIAN SOLDIER.


WAS THIS THE HERO,
OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?,
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
THE FLOOR FOR A BED?


I REALIZED THE FAMILIES,
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS,
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.


SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE,
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.


THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM,
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.


I COULDN'T HELP WONDER,
HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE,
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.


THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT,
A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES,
AND STARTED TO CRY.


THE SOLDIER AWAKENED,
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
"SANTA, DON'T CRY,
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE.


I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS."


THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT,
I CONTINUED TO WEEP.


I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
SO SILENT AND STILL,
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED,
FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.


I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE,
ON THAT COLD, DARK NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR,
SO WILLING TO FIGHT.


THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE, SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA,
IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE."


ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT,
"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT."


This poem was written by a peace keeping soldier stationed overseas.
The following is his request. I think it is reasonable.
PLEASE.
Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can?

Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to
our Canadian service men and

women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.
Let's try in this small way to pay a

tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who

sacrificed themselves for us.
Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.


Thanks Doug G.

Thanks Bob H.

Thanks Donna G.

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