Monday, November 11, 2013

Armistice Day at 95

A Remembrance Poppy (link)
Today is Armistice Day, commemorating, now 95 years ago, the end of the Great War, an especially senseless, useless, and destructive one, which led to, along with the further destruction from its continuation as WWII, the passivity and cultural self-disdain that runs so strong through much of Western Civilization and threatens its very existence in perhaps the greatest danger since 732 A.D.  

The tragedy and suffering of the War have been expressed so well by my favorite contemporary author, James/Jan Morris; in the incomparable Pax Britannia Trilogy there is this about grieving parents visiting their son’s grave, so very far away from home:  

In one of the lonely cemeteries in which, buried where they died, the Anzacs lay lost among the Gallipoli ravines, the parents of one young soldier wrote their own epitaph to their son, killed so far away, so bravely we need not doubt, in so obscure a purpose: “God Took Our Norman, It Was His Will, Forget Him, No, We Never Will” ... for all too often the sacrifices of the Great War, as its contemporaries called it, were given to a cause that was already receding into history, like those discredited grey battleships, their smoke-pall filling the sky, hull-down on the Aegean horizon.

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