Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013, Remember

I am re-posting, with very slight changes, a poem I once wrote for Fireblossom Friday here at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.
It is about my mother's cousin Henry Hector MacKenzie, Jr., of the Royal Canadian Air Force, whose plane was shot down over France in 1944.
He was 24 years old.

Many years later, the MacKenzie family learned that parts of Harry's plane had been found. We also learned that there are people in France almost 70 years after World War II who are still looking for such wreckage, so that they can let families know about our boys who liberated France.

With the guns and drums, and drums and guns, Harry,
Where are your eyes that looked so mild, Harry?
You died in your plane north of Paree
Ninety miles inland from the sea
Harry, I never knew o' ye.
Five brave Frenchmen, they found your plane, Harry,
When you’d been buried sixty years, Harry,
When you’d been buried sixty years,
They found your plane and cried real tears,
Though, Harry, they never knew ye.
Those brave Frenchmen, they did not rest, Harry,
’Til with your plane they’d done their best, Harry,
They polished the engine ’til it shone
In that small town of Sacy-le-Grand,

As if, Harry, they knew ye.

H.H. MacKenzie, Jr. (Harry), 1920-1944


Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Brought a tear Kay... as you'll have gathered I have a lot of time for this sort of remembrance. Thank you.

Sorry to say even Voovoo is not well now, so my presence for comments here or even on my own blogs is going to be very erratic for a wee while.... YAM xx

Robert Bourne said...

marvelous post... and a tribute to Harry and thousands of others...

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

A lovely tribute!
Hubby just found a memorial to one of his cousins. 4 kids, lost their parents, sent to live with 4 separate families.
Tragic. They think the influenza epidemic after WW I.

I wrote three poems today, whilst watching the ceremony on the hill. I thought you'd be proud! You inspire and I've failed to pick up the torch!
Cheers from out east !

Ella said...

A touching tribute! How honorable~
Thank you for sharing Kay~

Jim said...

It's a wonderful poem, Kay. A beautiful tribute.

I almost feel that I could 'lift' your poem and replace your nephew's name with Mrs. Jim's brother, Eugene.

Eugene joined the U.S. Army Air Corp when he was seventeen and became a P-38 pilot. In December, 1943, his plane was shot down over Italy and Gene was killed. Mrs. Jim was born on January 1, 1944. They never met here on Earth.

Anonymous said...

Time lends this song its bittersweetness, decades of wondering just what happened to those who flew out but didn't come back. The sort of mystery so many feel with vanished loved ones. And wreckage does get found, like a skeleton in the woods, and an old mystery becomes defined -- the loss made sharper, perhaps, but then some closure happens. Fingers crossed for your family. - Brendan