For we were young and we had wings
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author of military history
The Air Force's Memorial, Runnymede, Surrey, England


The first rays of the dawning sun
shall touch its pillars
And as the day it advances
and the light grows stronger,
you shall read the names
engraved on the stone
Of those who sailed on the angry sky,
and saw harbour no more
No gravestone in yew-dark churchyard
shall mark their resting place;
their bones lie in the forgotten corners
Of earth and sea


But that we may not lose their memory
with fading years, their monument stands here,
here, where the trees troop down the Rennymede,
Meadows of Magna Carta, field of freedom
never saw you so fitting a memorial,
proof that the principles established here,
Are still dear to the hearts of men.
Here now they stand, contrasted and alike,
the field of freedom's birth, and the memorial
freedoms winning

And as evening comes,
and mists, like quiet ghosts, rise from the river bed,
and climb the hill to wander through the cloisters,
We shall not forget them. Above the mist.
We shall see the memorial still, and over it
the Crown and sing star.  And we shall pray
as the mists rise up the air grows dark
that we may wear
as brave a heart as they.


Written by Paul A. Scott