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Full Version: A remembrance Sunday Meditation
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It's remembrance Sunday here in the UK. This article by a newly dissenting and aging WWII veteran was published in the Guardian on Friday under the title "This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time". It attracted over 1,500 comments in less than 24 hours. A sign of a growing understanding? - One can but hope.

Meanwhile, here is an Eric Bogle song - a lyrical meditation if you will - that evokes the realities of war rather more honestly than our official ceremonies with their obfuscating leitmotif of restrained militarism. Appropriately, it is sung here in both English and German:

Quote:Well how do you do, Private Willy McBride,
Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside?
And rest for a while in the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day and I'm nearly done.
I see by your gravestone you were only 19
When you joined the great fallen in 1916,
Well I hope you died quick, and I hope you died clean
Or, Willy McBride, was it slow and obscene?

Did they Beat the drums slowly, Did they play the fife lowly?
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sound The Last Post and chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
In some loyal heart, is your memory enshrined?
And though you died back in 1916
To that loyal heart, you are always 19?
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Forever enshrined behind some glass pane.
In an old photograph, torn and tattered and stained,
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?

The sun's shining down on these green fields of France;
The warm wind blows gently, and the red poppies dance.
The trenches have vanished long under the plough
No gas and no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
But there in this graveyard that's still No Man's Land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man.
and a whole generation who were butchered and damned.

And I can't help but wonder, no Willie McBride,
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you 'The Cause?'
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing, the dying, it was all done in vain,
For Willie McBride, it happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.

Thanks for this Peter. Don't mind a bit of Eric Bogle. I noticed this week how many people on the UK media etc have been wearing the poppy and how stupid and inappropriate it all looks. No connection to it all and no understanding. All marketing. Also, the government sends the poor sods to war so they should also pay for all the ongoing damage it causes them and their families and not go begging to the public to support their lack of diplomatic skills. When they sell them here it was just on that day but it seems to have been since mid October that I have been seeing people wearing them. And I read the Guardian article too and couldn't agree more with him. Haven't read the comments yet. Hope they are some what enlightened. There needs to be some sort of alternative to this manufactured pap. It is going to be nauseating by the looks of it in the next year as the anniversary of the first world war is marketed to us all. Much to meditate on.