The soldier, not the reporter, gave us freedom of the press

The Royal Canadian Legion Poppy campaign is now underway in Canada.

The Royal Canadian Legion Poppy campaign is now underway in Canada. A time to remember that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. Here is a piece I found some years ago and with Remembrance Day on Nov.  11, I thought this would be appropriate.

The Final Inspection

The soldier stood and faced God, which must always come to pass.

He hoped his shoes were shining, just as brightly as his brass.


“Step forward now, you soldier,

how shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To my church have you been true?”


The soldier squared his shoulders and said, “No Lord, I guess I ain’t.

Because those of us who carry guns, can’t always be a saint.


I’ve had to work most Sundays,

and at times my talk was tough.

And sometimes I’ve been violent, because the world is awfully rough.


But, I never took a penny, that wasn’t mine to keep …

Though I worked a lot of overtime, when the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help. though at time I shook with fear.

And sometimes, God, forgive me. I’ve wept unmanly tears.


I know I don’t deserve a place,

among the people here.

They never wanted me around,

except to calm their fears.


If you’ve a place for me here, Lord, it needn’t be so grand.

I never expected or had too much, but if you don’t, I’ll understand.


There was a silence all around the throne, where the saints had often trod.

As the Soldier waited quietly,  for the judgement of his God.


“Step forward now, you soldier,

you’ve borne your burdens well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets, you’ve done your time in Hell.”


Poppies are available throughout the community at various businesses. Wear one in Remembrance of those who gave their lives for us. Look in this paper for information regarding the ceremonies in Williams Lake on the 11th of November.

Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend


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