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In 1998, for that year's Remembrance Day, I wrote a poem to be aired on the radio stations -- 98.1 CHFI and 680News -- that I worked for at the time. The poem was recorded (voiced by the late Gary Miles, produced by John Howard) and has aired on that station and others each November 11th ever since.

To hear it, click here.

For those who have asked for a transcript, it is below:


A Remembrance Day Poem by James Keith Norman


I remember that instant,

when the guns fell silent.

I stood in a trench eight-feet deep,

ice and mud up to my ankles.

My bare and frozen hands

clutching my rifle,

the fear of dying as strong as ever.


When the guns fell silent,

I heard no cheers.

I heard moans and cries of injured comrades,

long drowned out by

the terrifying bombardments.


I heard the wind,

sounding like the last breaths

of the many who had perished beside me.

I heard a stuttered, sobbing thanks to God

that this war was over,

when the guns fell silent.


And when the guns fell silent,

I heard a woman

whom I had never met, 

speak my name with great love.

I heard a child not yet conceived

call me father.

I heard my voice,

raspy with great age,

speaking to children

who would call me Grandpa.


I heard my future,

my family’s future,

the future of generations to come

and for which so many 

had fought and died.

I heard the past few years

and the many years to come.

I heard them both – hell and heaven –

when the guns fell silent.