Kirkegården + kirke Kirkegården + kirke

Flyvergraven: Engelske flyvere begravet på Gl. Rye Kirkegård

Under krigen styrtede et engelsk fly ned den 27. august 1944 på vej hjem fra et bombetogt i Tyskland. Ved styrtet omkom syv engelske flyvere og de blev stedt til hvile i en fælles grav på Gl. Rye Kirkegård.

Den 30. august 1994 - 50 år efter nedskydningen - blev der afholdt en højtidelighed. Ved højtideligheden holdt kirkens sognepræst - H. C. Grosbøl-Poulsen - en tale med udgangspunkt i Johannesevangeliet kapitel 15 vers 9-15.

Her følger den engelske oversættelse:

The gospel of St. John, 15.9-15:
‘As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my fathers commandments, and abide in his love. these things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.’

 

The 13. of May 1940 Winston Churchill made a rather short speech in the House of Commons, when he just had become the Prime Minister. Churchill said in the end of his speech: ‘I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined the Government: ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.’

We have before us an ordeal of the most griveous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory - victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.’

Today vi commemorate 7 human beings, who paid first with ‘toil, tears and sweat’, and at last with their blood:

7 men, who laid down their lives for their friends: greater can no mans love be; deeper can no commitment be, than to give his life away. We commemorate them: 7 out of numerous victims to a monstrous tyranny. Because we have to learn and keep clear in sight, that our freedom rests upon ‘blood, toil, tears and sweat’. That we are able to breathe as free men, is not a consequence of Nature - it is not a given matter, but it has its history and its price: it is the result of the free, but committed will of men.

We best commemorate the Fallen by fighting their battle - now in another time and place, the arms may be different, but fight has to go on, because without victory no survival is possible. Not fighting tyranny is not living; no will to conquer in the cause of freedom is no will to live; no participation in the sufferings of the Fallen, is unworthiness of living.

These 7 gave the dearest: their young lives; they shall therefore be followed by the words of God (Ps 23):

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Amen.