Tuesday, 11 November 2014

November 11th.

 So many wars, so much killing and maiming, and often it is difficult to answer the question 'for what?'   Today, a particularly poignant Remembrance Day as it is one hundred years since the outbreak of the Great War,  all the usual sights were there.   The thousands of poppies representing all the hundreds of thousands who have died, the stiff, straight faces of rows upon rows of men and women in uniform all trying not to cry, and the old veterans, many of them in wheel chairs, who cannot contain their emotions and who cry openly.

And what I always find almost unbearable is all the children there.   This year, at the Tower of London and at various places around the world (the Menin Gate, particularly so) children stand solemn-faced and speak to the cameras of remembering the dead of the wars.   Some of them have fathers, grand-fathers and great-grandfathers who have died in one or another conflict.   I cannot help but watch them and wonder whether they will take their turn when they become adults.

I'm sure it is necessary to remember, and having a special day to do so is also important - but it does make me question so many things about war and the reason for war - while at the same time feeling a sense of disloyalty to those who have died.   Does anyone else feel like this?

11 comments:

Gwil W said...

I think the two main reasons for war are greed and fear. "Wars belong in Museums" is a good motto.

Heather said...

It would seem that politicians create wars and our loved ones try to win them. Two of my uncles and a grandfather fought in the first World War. One uncle was back at home, having lost a leg, in time to celebrate his 18th birthday. My father was in the second world war but came through safely. My son has served in Northern Ireland three times and in the first Gulf War and a son in law served in the Falklands. I just feel very grateful that they all came back, but so angry that it still goes on.

Cloudia said...

EXACTLY, P! Well said.



ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
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angryparsnip said...

Yes, I understand.
I know in my brain that people hate other people and want to conquer, hurt, kill, destroy and wipe us from the face of the earth. For no other reason that they can and for what ?
All for petty grunge and religion.
War is beyond evil and I hate it. But that said one has the need to protect.
I would say if the leaders start a war they better send their family to fight. But some people have no qualms to kill family and everyone just as long a they win because they are righteous.
My heart bleeds over this.

cheers, parsnip

Cro Magnon said...

Someone cleverly noted "War is what happens when diplomacy fails". It's politicians who start wars.

valerie greeley said...

I think it is so important to remember WW1 in particular and not just the ones who were killed in action but also those who survived and had to carry on living with such terrible memories. There seems to have been almost a conspiracy of silence surrounding men like my grandfather who suffered PTSD. Thankfully we are now becoming more aware of this terrible condition.

mrsnesbitt said...

We watched the festival of remembrance on Saturday night, as we always do. Different set up this year - very much moving with the times but I was shocked at how many young people had perished in recent years.

The Broad said...

In 1914 the war was glorified -- young men and old couldn't wait to join in the fray. In 1918 the nations were so exhausted by the carnage that they were unable to have a suitable peace, but sowed the seeds for the next war. At the end of that some wisdom prevailed and it looked like we'd all learned something. But still we manage to alienate and still the politicians manage to enveigle mankind into violence and hatred with no end in sight. It's easy to blame 'politicians' and to forget that beneath the titles we are all men and women with our part to play.

MorningAJ said...

You are probably aware that I feel very strongly about this. I will never understand why we (the UK) seem to trot off to areas of conflict all over the world and butt in to any local fight we can find.

1914-18 was supposed to be the war that ended all wars. But we've hardly stopped fighting ever since. I'm not sure we'll ever learn from our mistakes.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for the comments and for visiting.

thelma said...

always feel in two minds about this, especially as I remember reading Sassoon on the subject and the terrible conditions. The 'flow of poppies' in the Tower of London, also had me questioning the glorification of war.