LIEUTENANT DAVID “POPPA” ALEXANDER
Lieutenant David R. Alexander
1st Cavalry Division Airmobile, US Army
Vietnam: 1967 – 1968
In New Zealand, when a Veteran dies it is a long standing tradition to read the 4th stanza from Lawrence Binyon’s beautifully sad WWI poem “THE FALLEN.” This stanza is referred to by New Zealand Veterans as “The Ode.” It is recited at 1800hrs either on Friday or Saturday nights in the RSA (Returned Services Association you would say American Legion), clubrooms: the lights in the clubrooms are dimmed, and everyone is upstanding. The Last Post is played on a bugle, one minutes silence, the Ode is recited, followed by a second bugle call known as Reveille.
If I am ever given the Honour at a Veterans funeral to recite the Ode, I always recite both the 3rd stanza as well as the 4th. Just to remind everyone; Veterans became such as very young men and women.
I now present this small tribute to our Friend, Comrade, and fellow War Poet, David ‘Poppa’ Alexander.
With Deepest Respect,
Mike ‘Subs’ Subritzky
Rhodesian War 1979-80
August 3, 2006
They went with songs to the battle; they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted:
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
… Lest we forget!
©Copyright August 3, 2009 by Mike Subritzky