Kenny Warren, Lest We Forget
(ISN) – You can never knock the way these two shepherd docs tended
their military flocks. From Bangkok to Germany’s Rostok around
the clock they worked on the wounded with every ticktock and little blood stock.
Stormin’ Norman: Whether in storm or warm, Norm was on
the battlefield in uniform able to perform a swarm of (often 50)
operations a day. Norm invented the form for field hospitals.
It was a boon that Bethune could commune and be medic to a
whole Chinese platoon. But one afternoon, during a surgery in a
monsoon, Bethune wasn’t immune to an inopportune cut that soon
had Bethune himself in a dangerous swoon. However, this doc, the
rock, continued foolishly to tend his soldier flock. But too soon the
platoon could no longer commune with Bethune. He died at noon of
blood poisoning, and no bagpipes to play a funereal tune.
So in Changchow, Chairman Mao wrote an essay that would
endow Bethune’s memory and selfless spirit in the minds of Chinese
students forever. In fact Mao told teachers they must know how to
make students memorize his essay and bow to this vow. Even now
Chinese students learn and avow the Bethune essay written by Mao.
McCrae’s Doomsday: Dr. John had gone to France where he
shone in World War One. He was Captain McCrae, disembarking
on the ship’s gangway. He knew he was confronting doomsday. In
Ypres, McCrae was in the fray, in harm’s way, every day. When the
Huns did slay his best friend Clay, McCrae, in dismay, saw where he
lay in Flanders and decided to pay his respects in this way: he wrote
his famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ in just twenty minutes sitting
in the back of an ambulance. It was a grey day with explosions every
which way around McCrae, but he wouldn’t betray honouring his
friend’s doomsday. While McCrae tried to portray the heroic way
of every soldier’s workday, and the horrible price many must pay,
he too got caught in the fray and to our dismay, McCrae died in a
different way than his bloody buddy, Clay. It was pneumonia that
took McCrae away. NO WAY! WAR IS NOT OKAY, EH?
(Ed. Note: ‘Clay’, the nickname for Lt. Alex Helmer, 22, for digging
trenches. He was, ironically, killed as he left his dugout.)
Hooray, Canadians, please play a tune for Bethune and a yea, yea,
for McCrae and Clay!