My family and I went to Vancouver Island to visit my Auntie Leona. While we were there, she told me of some family history that I had never before heard.
My Great Uncle Stan served in the army, and fell at Vimy Ridge.
The more I found out about this brave soldier, the prouder I became! I was also completely overwhelmed with grief, sadness, and sorrow. Although I obviously never met him, Great Uncle Stan's life and death has a profound impact in my life.
In the Murrayville cemetery, there is a cenotaph engraved with his name, and when I went there to see it, I just stood there, grateful for his gift, with tears running down my face.
In response to my immense grief and deep gratefulness, I wrote this poem for him.
PRIVATE STANLEY TYERS
July 3, 1898 - April 9, 1917
At Vimy Ridge my Great Uncle Stan fell He willingly suffered and strode bravely into hell. He carried a rifle as he marched straight into harm He and his regiment, his comrades in arms.
With the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, BC Regiment He advanced for the loss of Canada to prevent.
Until at age 18 he met his enemy face to face As he fought and died in that dreadful place.
He generously gave his life for all in this land For Canada, his siblings, and his heartbroken Mom and Dad. I imagine my uncle, prayed aloud to our Lord, Give me courage and strength to continue onward.
I believe You were present and held him close, Holy One While he slipped into eternity for his work was done.
My Great Uncle Stan at Thelis in France does lie The picture of his headstone moves me and I cry. But his soul dwells in heaven, not in the grave He lives forever because of his faith and life he gave. Alone I stand at the cenotaph, lovingly tracing your name With tears running down my face, I am not the same.
Thank you, thank you for your sacrifice Great Uncle Stan I am grateful for your willingness to obey God's plan.
I solemnly promise I will never forget your fate And I know you will be waiting for me at heaven's gate. March 26, 2011
I will attend Remembrance Day services in honour of my uncle and all fallen soldiers. If you see me there, come and give me a hug and let me know that you appreciate my Great Uncle Stan's sacrifice, too.
Cathy Tyers Moleschi, Langley