We will remember them

We Will Remember Them

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May 27, 2022
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More than 20 years ago, Pat Scannon was reading a book late at night on World War in the Pacific. On the last page of the book, the author included a quote from “For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon (excerpt from “For the Fallen”)

Pat never truly appreciated the power of poetry, before that moment. Laurence Binyon’s words in that stanza overwhelmed him, especially the last sentence.

While Binyon wrote this poem in 1914 to honor those lost in the British Expeditionary Force in World War I, Pat found that stanza universally applicable nearly 100 years later. The last sentence spoke to his heart and the heart of Project Recover’s mission.

“This is what we are doing. We are remembering and returning MIAs home so that we do not forget their personal sacrifice and the sacrifices endured by their families,” Pat said.

From that moment on, Pat added “For the Fallen” to Project Recover’s tradition and ceremonies. The team recites it over discovered MIA crash sites and it is read at MIA repatriation ceremonies.

The complete poem is included below for all to appreciate. Together, we will remember them.

“For the Fallen”

By Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal 
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again; 
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound, 
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust, 
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness, 
To the end, to the end, they remain.

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  1. I am the only family member left to remember my Great-Uncle’s son, Edward, who is MIA in World War two (Pacific Theatre). I was born near the end of WWII, after my parents enlistments were up at the end of the war, and they settled nto a big house that most of my father’s family shared. The only one missing was Edward. His father, my Great-Uncle kept mementos from Edward’s life in his room. My grandmother had helped raise Edward. Edward had worked at the Post Office before enlisting and he was mourned long after by his family. The house we lived in had a complicated door lock and my greandmother hated it because she feared Edward would come home some day and not be able to get into the new house. I became the keeper of the mementos that his father had held dear after the passing of my grandmother. I respect the work you do and the closure that you bring to others that still grieve.