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    Friday, November 11, 2005

    "Lest we forget"

    Stardate 4844.5

    "In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses row on row,
    That marks our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amidst 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, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

    War. Through history, mankind has seen countless conflicts. Some for good reason, some not. Whether it was ancient tribes quarrelling over hunting grounds and gold deposits, fighting to stop madmen bent on global domination or today's man, deciding who's God is right, thousands and millions of lives have been extinguished forever. We grieve their losses, and move on, to the next great, bloody conflict. At times, it seems there shall be no reprieve from the almost child-like reasons for most conflict... greed, race, religion. And meanwhile, another mother, another father, another wife, another husband, another child, loses a parent, a son, a daughter, a friend.

    "Floating down through the clouds
    Memories come rushing up to meet me now
    In the space between the heavens
    And in the corner of some foreign field
    I had a dream
    I had a dream
    Goodbye max
    Goodbye ma
    After the service when you're walking slowly to the car
    And the silver in her hair shines in the cold november air
    You hear the tolling bell and touch the silk in your lapel
    And as the tear drops rise to meet the comfort of the band
    You take her frail hand and hold on to the dream
    A place to stay enough to eat
    Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street
    Where you can speak out loud
    About your doubts and fears
    And what's more no-one ever disappears
    You never hear their standard issue kicking in your door
    You can relax on both sides of the tracks
    And maniacs don't blow holes in bandsmen by remote control
    And everyone has recourse to the law
    And no-one kills the children anymore
    And no-one kills the children anymore
    Night after night going round and round my brain
    His dream is driving me insane
    In the corner of some foreign field the gunner sleeps tonight
    What's done is done
    We cannot just write off his final scene
    Take heed of the dream
    Take heed"

    - Pink Floyd - "Gunner's Dream" from "The Final Cut"

    The World Wars saw a loss of life like no other. Brave men and women throughout the world fought for their countries on all sides of the war. Either on the lines in a foreign land, in the factories at home, or the hospitals housing the wounded. These people need to be remembered. Their sacrifices were made in order to keep our way of life safe and free. The soldiers on all sides died for causes they believed were true. Remember them.

    Even today, in the current hell that is our modern world, men, women and children die on a daily basis... fighting to preserve their way of life. The US soldier, the Iraqi child. The Israeli gunner. The Palestinian mother. And for what? Oil? Security? Religion? No sides are right anymore. We spiral towards oblivion faster every day, with each car bomb, air strike, threat and death. The face of war has changed today. The noble cause that was is all but gone. I often wonder what the souls watching from above would think, peering in on our crystal ball planet and it's conflicts of greed and racism.

    Someday, the rest of the world will grow as weary as myself at the thought of more bags full of wasted flesh coming home. We do not need any more new reasons to remember.

    As Ken over at Common Sense says, we must remember that in all wars, the soldiers are doing the bidding of the government. As much as we oppose a specific conflict, or the leaders responsible, we must always remember that the men and women serving are doing their job for their country. We must support them fully, even as we oppose their leaders.

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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