05 August 2011

Learning An Important Lesson...Yet Again

Writing in English did not come easily to me as I have no talent for tongues whatsoever! In school I despaired my languages professor and I remember to date her obvious scowling.
There is however no better time to learn a language than when you are thrown into society with five words:
'Hello, goodbye, thank you and yes and no'.
Hilarious situations arise because I could not make sense of the 'sounds' made by others when they tried to help me.
Improvements came slowly and if I still cannot pronounce 'th' it is because it does not appear in my native language. I will keep on trying, though! God is truly patient!

When I first started writing on this blog, I seriously doubted I would find much to write about. I knew I wanted to write about my dreams, the moments I cherish, the little things I do however trivial there might seem to others.
I wanted to share my thoughts on the books I like to read in particular, pursue the friendships I make through the Internet...
To sum it up, I wanted to share the journey, one Christian reaching to others! God is indeed patient!

I try to steer away from mentioning anything too personal. After all, who wants to know if I have two left feet?
But this morning I felt so proud I wanted to share something about ME.
Some of you will understand why I love poppies...
It seems each day brings another lesson learned, and today's came under the form of a speech written on 4 August 1914.
I never read it before but it brought such a feeling of pride, I thought it a good thing to share with readers.

Having declined two days earlier Germany's request for free passage across Belgium for its troops in the latter's war against France, Belgium prepared itself to defend its independence.  Such was the background to the monarch's speech to parliament on 4 August 1914 - the same day Britain entered the war in defence of Belgium.

 Address by King Albert to the Belgian Parliament, 4 August 1914


Never, since 1839, has a more solemn hour struck for Belgium: the integrity of our territory is threatened.
The very force of our righteous cause, the sympathy which Belgium, proud of her free institutions and her moral victories, has always received from other nations, and the necessity of our autonomous existence in respect of the equilibrium of Europe, make us still hopeful that the dreaded emergency will not be realized.

But if our hopes are betrayed, if we are forced to resist the invasion of our soil, and to defend our threatened homes, this duty, however hard it may be, will find us armed and resolved upon the greatest sacrifices.

Even now, in readiness for any eventuality, our valiant youth is up in arms, firmly resolved, with the traditional tenacity and composure of the Belgians, to defend our threatened country.

In the name of the nation, I give it a brotherly greeting. Everywhere in Flanders and Wallonia, in the towns and in the countryside, one single feeling binds all hearts together: the sense of patriotism.
One single vision fills all minds: that of our independence endangered.  One single duty imposes itself upon our wills: the duty of stubborn resistance.

In these solemn circumstances two virtues are indispensable: a calm but unshaken courage, and the close union of all Belgians.
Both virtues have already asserted themselves, in a brilliant fashion, before the eyes of a nation full of enthusiasm.

The irreproachable mobilization of our army, the multitude of voluntary enlistments, the devotion of the civil population, the abnegation of our soldiers' families, have revealed in an unquestionable manner the reassuring courage which inspires the Belgian people.
It is the moment for action.

I have called you together, gentlemen, in order to enable the Legislative Chambers to associate themselves with the impulse of the people in one and the same sentiment of sacrifice.
You will understand, gentlemen, how to take all those immediate measures which the situation requires, in respect both of the war and of public order.

No one in this country will fail in his duty.
If the foreigner, in defiance of that neutrality whose demands we have always scrupulously observed, violates our territory, he will find all the Belgians gathered about their sovereign, who will never betray his constitutional oath, and their Government, invested with the absolute confidence of the entire nation.

I have faith in our destinies; a country which is defending itself conquers the respect of all; such a country does not perish!

Yes, I am a Flanders poppy and very proud to be one!

This particular speech made me realize why my grandfathers felt called to fight in the trenches!
I live abroad it is true. Our household is made of a prideful mixture of Britons and Belgians (the dog and the cat are Yanks!).
We have learned much about blending likes and dislikes, food and traditions and yes, even Churches.
But Britons, Belgians or Yanks, we are children of God first of all!

PEACE! May God be with us always!

God is good, God is Great!

Blessings to all,

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