Tuesday, November 11, 2008

90 years ago...

"The war to end all wars" ended on this day 90 years ago. Instead of bringing us lasting peace, however, it opened the Pandora's box containing previously unseen evils. Thus the name "the calamity that started all the calamities" is much more apropriate.

This poem captures the essential mood of the conflict: somber, dark, melancholic. You will be overcome by those emotions as soon as you read the first verse, as was I.

In Flanders Fields

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 foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lt.-Col. John McCrae

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