Today is Armistice Day
Today is Armistice Day.
Ninety years ago today, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 11.00 am on 11/11/18, hostilities ended in the First World War.
Although there was no formal peace treaty until the following year, the approximately eight million people who died have been remembered every year since with a two minute silence at 11.00 am on 11 November.
I am not suggesting that we can all observe this. The never ending ringing of the telephone alone would make it impossible for many of us.
However, if you do find yourself with a spare moment at 11.00 am, please do consider taking two minutes out for quiet reflection.
A poignant post Darryl.
The words of Wilfred Owen spring to mind.
Dulce Et Decorum Est
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!-An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,-
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori. ( It is good, it is proper to die for ones country)
Wilfred Edward Salter Owen MC (18 March 1893 — 4 November 1918) was an English poet and soldier, regarded by many as one of the leading poets of the First World War. His shocking, realistic war poetry on the horrors of trench and gas warfare was heavily influenced by his friend Siegfried Sassoon and sat in stark contrast to both the public perception of war at the time, and to the confidently patriotic verse written earlier by war poets such as Rupert Brooke.
That brings back memories. I studied that poem in 4th form English.
My grand father fought and was gassed in the Great War.
I had 6 uncles in WW2 and 2 uncles in Korea.
When I look at what has become of NZ laws and the way men/fathers are treated in the Western World in general I ask myself – what was the point?