Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Tribute to the Fallen or The Final Inspection

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
'Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you ?
Have you always turned the other cheek ?
To My Church have you been true?
'The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
'No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear..
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
'Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Freedom Parade - QDG (Welsh Cavalry) - 12.7.09

This weekend is a busy one for us. Being active members of the REA - and with Ray being ex forces we are having an army weekend.

The 1st Queens Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Cavalry) were being granted the Freedom of the City today - which co-incided with their 50th anniversary as a regiment at the same time as Swanseas 40th anniversary of being awarded city status. Being granted Freedom of the City entitles the Regiment to parade through the city with colours flying, bayonettes fixed and marching band playing. And whilst all of this was going on - it is Wales National Airshow for the whole weekend.

We found ourselves in town quite early and found a place to stand. There was a good turnout to support them. And boy - they did themselves proud. They paraded from the Guildhall, along St Helens Road, then towards Oxford Street. Marched the whole length of Oxford Street, along Castle Street, then Whitewalls and then headed back towards Oxford Street, St Helens, and return along South Road. They marched to cheers and applause from the members of the public that were there to show support, appreciation, respect, hommage, or tribute. Part of the QDG (Welsh Cavalry) returned from Afghanistan in March and the remainder returned in June and since they've been home they have been quite busy. They are in the UK for a month before they return to their base in Sennelager, Germany. They will be parading in Wrexham, be at the Royal Welsh Show and have other 'engagements', with the last being their Freedom Parade in Cardiff - the capitol of Wales on the 31st July where they will be granted the Freedom of the City. What a fitting tribute for a regiment that has the moto First and Foremost. If you wish to show support for the QDG and you are near Cardiff at this time, the parade starts at 1200hrs.

We did manage to take a few pictures, but to be honest, I'm not really sure how well they will have turned out. It is very difficult to take photographs of such a proud day when my hands are moving because I am clapping to show support, and have difficulty focusing the camera with tears in my eyes out of respect for the guys as they paraded so honourably.