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November 6, 2006



why only the eleventh

do they not still die

do we not still live

enjoying the fruit of their labour


does peace not rest on such as they

surely we can do more than a single day

to treasure what these have bought


those bereft recall many more days

have lost more than we can say

do they not deserve a monument


we are free

yet are not free if any remain enslaved

ere their prison become our own


to you whose pain my freedom buys

there are no words for what you have done

but for what you have done and are doing

“Thank you.”



In his poem “In Flanders Fields” John McCrae writes these words:


“Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.”


In a sense the battle is never won as each generation battles its own evils. Freedom is kept by constant watch or it is lost.


Until HE returns, it will not end.

Until HE returns, those who guard

our lives at cost of their own

cannot be praised too highly.

And after HE returns,

will receive their just reward.


Why Only the Eleventh

A poem by Peter Rhebergen
Copyright 2022
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