September 3, 1939

It was a Sunday morning, at 11 o'clock.
The prime minister, on the radio,
Told us we were at war with Germany,
I was 17. I wept.

The fighting in France, Belgium, and Holland was fierce.
We lost many friends.
We prayed for the remnants of the army pinned down
On the beaches at Dunkirk.

It was a miracle that so many soldiers were saved
By small pleasure and fishing boats
Which were able to get close to the beach to take
The retreating troops to the rescue ships.

Then the Battle of Britain, more friends lost.
A small group of royal air force fliers
Held off the superior force of Germans as they attempted
To reduce our cities to rubble.

They tried to reduce our citizens to defeated beings,
Who would beg for mercy and surrender.
Despite thousands of civilians killed and wounded,
We did not surrender, we did not beg for mercy.

We did not weep. We endured.
We prevailed and won that war
Which started at 11 o'clock
On September 3, 1939.