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* National solemn tribute ceremony to the Memorial of Rebecq (Belgium) on May 22nd, 2019 *
* The Elegy to the Heroes of Silence *

Elegy to the Heroes of Silence



Last update: 28/05/2019

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Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence


As searcher, historian and webmaster of this site, I spent mounths beside all the Airmen of whom the names are included in this database.
There are more than 4.600!
To try to enter in their personal story, to imagine their last moment and to thing about the shock caused at home, when the yellow telegram arrived announcing the drama was a trying experience that I wanted to get out of, so much the burden of pain and grief was great.
As so, I wrote the Elegy to the Heroes of Silence.
It is dedicated to them and to their loved ones whom had to continue to live with their sorrow and their regrets.

Elegy to the Heroes of Silence,
by Wilfred Burie
Dedicated to the Royal Air Force Aircrews fallen in Belgium during WW2


They were twenty years old
They were young, they were handsome
They were brave
They were heroes

I hear their laughter and their jokes
They hide their fears by getting on board
I imagine their silence
As the engines start

I think they’re meditating
As they fly towards their objective
Maybe they’re praying
Asking for a safe return

They were twenty years old
They were young, they were handsome
They were brave
They were heroes

I hear the sound of Flak
And the doors open for dropping bombs
I imagine the rumbling when they explode on target
I hear the Pilot saying, "We’re going back"

I hear machine guns firing
As enemy fighters pursue the plane
I hear the bullets bursting
When they hit the aircraft’s wing

They were twenty years old
They were young, they were handsome
They were brave
They were heroes

I hear the Pilot saying on the microphone
"We’ve been hit!, we’ve been hit!
We’ll try to land
Good luck to all!»

They were twenty years old
They were young, they were handsome
They were brave
They were heroes

I hear the plane descending inexorably
And imagine the anguish that embraces them
I hear the plane crashing
I hear them screaming “Mummy!”

And then I hear the silence

I hear their mom’s groan
Who, when opening the telegram
She learns that her son is declared Missing
It’s a scream of pain

And then I hear the silence

You were twenty years old
You were young, you were handsome
You were brave
You are the Heroes

The Heroes of Silence

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