Tuesday, November 11, 2008

90 years

By John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the for:
To you from failing hand we throw
The torch; be yours t hold it high.
If you break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

From "For the Fallen, " Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, not the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Remembrance Day.

I prefer the way the Commonwealth chooses to mark the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month - it is closer to what it should be. It is important to remember a conflict that in many ways marks the end of Part 1 of a two part play where Europe destroys itself and gave birth to the world we know. In a much smaller world, 20 million died in order to only bring another greater horror a generation later.

We should all ponder the second and third order effects of unfinished conflicts; of weakening resolve of the free in the face of tyranny, of comfortable compromises of the now that undermine the potential of the future.


Cross-posted at MilBlogs.

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