November 10, 2023

“I wipe tears from my eyes as thousands of boots march away to war.”

 An excerpt from “Trouble and Strife,” by Johanne Levesque


I watch the boys as they stand at attention while the Sergeant recites what General Currie told the Canadian Soldiers at the front in 1918: “Under the orders of your devoted officers in the coming battle, you will advance or fall where you stand, facing the enemy.  To those who will fall, I say: You will not die, but step into immortality.  Your mothers will not lament your fate, but will be proud to have borne such sons.  Your names will be revered forever and ever by your grateful country, and God will take you unto Himself.”

I wipe tears from my eyes as thousands of boots march away to war.  Both Melvin and Norman make a brave show in the parade.  They look swell as they march past me in their khaki suits to the sound of Alvin and all of his class mates waving flags and singing, “The Maple Leaf Forever.”

Gloria dabs her eyes with her handkerchief as the train pulls out amongst tumultuous cheers.  A man of about forty to fifty years old looks at them and says, “You should be proud that your men are wearing the uniform.  I tried to join, but due to injuries from the last war, I couldn’t be accepted in the first draft.  The medical examiner told me that I may be called later.  There is still hope for me yet,” he says as he limps away from the crowd.

“As Alvin, Gloria, and I walk to St. Michael’s cathedral, I hope that they will soon have Hitler where he belongs and Nazism dethroned.  As we walk in the church, I note that it is full of mothers and wives and children praying for peace to be restored and for their men to come back home.  I pray for leaders and government, for those suffering the agonies of war, for the soldiers on the battlefields, the sailors on the sea, and for the airmen, but most of all I pray for the safe return of Melvin and Norman.

As I walk home with Alvin and Gloria, it seems that all my problems of everyday life are insignificant in the face of the awful threat hanging over civilization.

If you liked this excerpt from Trouble and Strife, you can buy the book at any of the following links:

Austin Macauley Publishers™ (my publisher)
Barnes & Noble