Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remembrance Day

Today was Remembrance Sunday. It inspires all kinds of thoughts about man's inhumanity to man, though today I think I saw more posts pitting dueling war poets against each other than actual memorials to the fallen. Eventually, someone gloomily remarked in a comment thread somewhere that war didn't seem to have been any better when it was fought by poets.

Quite so.

This site [link partially lost] has a number of photographs of what, exactly World War I did to the landscape in Europe. All those trenches, and bombs, and the eventual destruction of explosive caches literally pocked the landscape, so almost one hundred years later, the earth has not recovered.

Never mind that every plowing season, the land yields bones instead of rocks, but large stretches of it, as at Verdun, above,  is unplowable, ripped up by conflict.

The current American fad for using drones may be cowardly, and would almost certainly be illegal if the US wasn't the 400 pound gorilla at the UN, but I can quite see why a general may prefer to call a "surgical strike" instead of sending ten thousand men over the top to die, as repeatedly happened during WWI.  Literally millions died - it's unthinkable. Less than a hundred years ago, too. My grand-dad fought in that war.  He lived through it, and I don't remember him ever saying a word about it.  Not all the soldiers were poets.


Bruv said...

Hi Sis

You didn't mention that 2 of your grand dad's brothers didn't live through it and died in those trenches.

Chris and I went to Ypres and the Menin Gate and found what I thought was their names on one of the memorial walls. I don't think there was a dry eye when they sounded the last post.

A visit to the various war graveyards and memorials should be something every young person should do to show them the futility of war.


Peromyscus said...

I didn't actually know that.

Do you know anything about my other grandfather? I know he was called Dinsdale. You don't forget a name like Dinsdale.

Bruv said...

Hi Sis

No I don't have any info, but I will look.



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