Monday 11 November 2013

Picture of the Day: 11.11.13 - Armistice Day

I saw this giant poppy outside our local town hall.

I shared my thoughts about remembrance day in this post from 2008.

This year was the same.  I thought about my grandfather and his brother who fought for the British in Burma during World War Two.  I thought of my husbands great-grandfather who fought in Italy during World War One and his uncle who was one of five brothers who fought during World War Two.

“The Punjabi Musselman was regarded as the backbone of the old Indian army, and constituted about a third of the British Indian Army. Known for their reliability, they were steady men who could be depended on to carry out any task at hand.” (Military Historian Major Gordon Corrigan - source)

Men who came home and carried on with their lives, their families unable to comprehend what they and gone through.

Then I thought of the young men who have fought in the conflicts of today: Iraq and Afghanistan.  Thousands of innocent civilians dead, terrible words like collateral damage which should never have been used to demean human beings.  

With the last of the veterans of the First World War now gone, I wonder will be ever learn?   

Happy Muslim Mama (11011.2008) - For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today
Muslim Winners of the Victoria Cross

From left to right: English Muslim World War I Heroes: Gunner Azeez Leadon, Private Mubarak Ballard, & Gunner Basheer Camp (image source)

"Dulce et Decorum Est " (Wilfred Own 1893 - 1918)

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 I 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.

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