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Remembrance

Today we mark the end of the war of European suicide, the war that brought the modern world to us. Thank God it ended. Pray God we not return to that decayed and decadent Europe of 1913. For nearly 100 years we have been trying to build a new, stable, honorable world. Lord have mercy.

At 11:00 tonight, the world will recall in two minutes of silence what should never happen, but does.

Perhaps Siegfried Sassoon was able to capture something of the weight of the moment in his poem ‘They’

The Bishop tells us: ‘When the boys come back
They will not be the same; for they’ll have fought
In a just cause: they lead the last attack
On Anti-Christ; their comrade’s blood has bought
New right to breed an honorable race.
They have challenged Death and dared him face to face.’

‘We’re none of us the same!’ the boys reply.
‘For George lost both his legs; and Bill’s stone blind;
Poor Jim’s shot through the lungs and like to die;
And Bert’s gone syphilitic: you’ll not find
A chap who’s served that hasn’t found some change.’
And the bishop said: ‘The ways of God are strange!’

I was raised to believe that we should remember what we owe to those who paid for me to sit at this keyboard. I’ve wondered over and over again how I can possibly live a life to justify what they have given me. Freedom was the word that drove me as a child. But they didn’t die so I could do whatever I wanted. The only way to justify that I am alive when they are not is for me to be virtuous. Truly, if I am not, then I have betrayed them. No other thanks is genuine, not to say enough.

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