Press-Republican

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April 26, 2014

Australian soldier remembered in Saranac Lake

(Continued)

It was Satrapa who brought the customs of their country, which often begin, he said, with services at dawn.

He read the “Ode of Remembrance,” explaining that some lines are to repeat from the crowd.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn ... We will remember them,” Satrapa recited.

And about 100 gathered answered: “We will remember them.”

“Lest we forget,” the major said.

DAYBREAK HIKE

Satrapa was one of seven, including Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau, who hiked at daybreak to the Scarface summit and placed a poppy where Capt. McKay was found. 

The group also built a stone cairn at the site, the major said.

“It’s a very picturesque walk,” Satrapa told the Press-Republican, describing the mountaintop ceremony as “very peaceful and solemn.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent a citation, bearing a message of comfort directed to McKay’s family and fellow soldiers.

U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. (Ret.) Dr. Loree Sutton, who serves as chairwoman of Homeward Bound Adirondacks, said post traumatic stress from war knows no race, no social status, no rank or national boundary.

“War changes all of us,” she said. “PTS is as old as war itself. Some have asked: Does post traumatic stress cause suicide?”

There is, Sutton said, no answer to that.

‘WE ARE ONE’

“Capt. McKay,” she said, looking to the sky. “I would like to dedicate a poem to you.” 

She read a work of Archibald MacLeish.

“The young dead soldiers do not speak. … They say: We were young. We have died. Remember us. ... They say: Our deaths are not ours: they are yours, they will mean what you make them.”

Rabideau said the day was meant, with tremendous passion and reverence, to honor a soldier from half the world away.

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