WWI is now officially history
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07-02-2012, 03:28 PM
WWI is now officially history
The last WWI veteran died. It's surreal to think that this piece of history can never be relayed first hand ever again.

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07-02-2012, 03:34 PM
RE: WWI is now officially history
It's a double-edge dilemma.

On one hand, who wants to remember madness in all its waste, horror and stupidity?

On the other hand, if we don't remember it like that, we might do it again!

Important things is: let's not romanticize it like a "glorious fight for our freedom and way of life". Those soldiers and civilians died on the altar of ultimate human stupidity.

It didn't solve anything and the peace-treaty at the end assured that the next major butchery was inevitable.

Lest we forget! Angry
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07-02-2012, 03:39 PM
RE: WWI is now officially history
Yeah, that's kind of my point. War is hell. WWI was particularly awful. There is no romanticizing... there is only reverence and the awareness to never let something like this happen again.

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07-02-2012, 03:43 PM (This post was last modified: 07-02-2012 03:48 PM by Observer.)
RE: WWI is now officially history
Come to Flanders my friend...
We'll take a hike here between the cornfields and the poppies.
I'll show you craters still breathing cold damp air after a small 100 years.
I'll show you old "duds" stacked between telephone poles as farmers still plough them out of the ground today.
I'll show you the ripped open concrete of hastily build bunkers.
I'll show you barbed wire rolls entangled around trees
I'll show you trenches and dug outs still visible as scars in the landscape.
Just close your eyes to hear the screams of agony of the wounded, the blind panic of the survivor and the desperate gasping for breathable air.

I'll show you endless lanes of headstones erected for sons of mothers and fathers of children

The smell of death and yperite might have been evaporated over the years, but here in Flanders The Great War still talks to you through all these silent witnesses, about the insanity and the useless slaughter.

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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07-02-2012, 03:49 PM
RE: WWI is now officially history
The End and the Beginning - By Wislawa Szymborska

After every war
someone has to tidy up.
Things won't pick
themselves up, after all.

Someone has to shove
the rubble to the roadsides
so the carts loaded with corpses
can get by.

Someone has to trudge
through the sludge and ashes,
through sofa springs
the shards of glass,
the bloody rags.

Someone has to lug the post
to prop the wall,
someone has to glaze the window,
set the door in its frame.

No sound bites, no photo opportunities,
and it takes years.
All the cameras have gone
to other wars.

The bridges need to be rebuilt,
the railroad stations, too.
Shirtsleeves will be rolled
to shreds.

Someone, broom in hand,
still remembers how it was.
Someone else listens, nodding
his unshattered head.
But others are bound to be bustling nearby
who'll find all that
a little boring.

From time to time someone still must
dig up a rusted argument
from underneath a bush
and haul it off to the dump.

Those who knew
what this was all about
must make way for those
who know little.
And less than that.
And at last nothing less than nothing.

Someone has to lie there
in the grass that covers up
the causes and effects
with a cornstalk in his teeth,
gawking at clouds.
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07-02-2012, 03:52 PM
RE: WWI is now officially history
(07-02-2012 03:49 PM)Zat Wrote:  The End and the Beginning - By Wislawa Szymborska

poem

As a poetry lover I guess you already know she died 2 days ago...

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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07-02-2012, 03:59 PM (This post was last modified: 07-02-2012 04:06 PM by Zat.)
RE: WWI is now officially history
(07-02-2012 03:52 PM)Observer Wrote:  As a poetry lover I guess you already know she died 2 days ago...

Yes, I know and I grieve!

She was one of the two poets I most admire (together with Attila Jozsef - Hungarian) -- they were everything I aspired to live up to and am failing miserably.

Maybe that's why she had the Nobel Prize and I don't Sad

Here is my own feeble attempt to describe war:

Anger

Of all human obscenities
I can never forgive the way
we kill, exploit and torture life forms...
...and how we abuse our young
in mass slaughter we perpetrate once in a while
(we call it war).

Just listen to the muddled lies, self-serving myths,
sanctimonious and idiotic explanations!
They say: "our children"
(dehumanized, crippled both in body and mind)
"are our heroes"
(not forced, duped or frightened into becoming trained killers)
but who - take this - "made the ultimate sacrifice",
"laid down their lives"...
...so their elders gain turf,
have spoils to fight over ,
become "pillars of the nation"
(with fat, off-shore bank accounts.)

And then wonder
whether being human means lying to ourselves,
hiding our shame under layers of pretenses?
and then wish we never "evolved"
to this schizophrenic nightmare
where we can't help being vicious
and we can't help feeling guilty
about it.

God!
if you are there,
let me tell you with my puny, ephemeral, primitive mind:
it was such a grievous blunder
(or cruel joke)
to plant that tree in the garden,
giving us the knowledge of our savage nature,
barbaric needs,
our remorseless and relentless killer instinct
that devours all that we can
and destroys all, whatever, is left over.
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07-02-2012, 11:42 PM
RE: WWI is now officially history
Unfortunately the mental torture still lives on within families of the veterans. Sad

Humankind Dodgy (a total misnomer)
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19-02-2012, 07:26 PM
RE: WWI is now officially history
Whatever your thoughts about war, I'm glad she got a little respect before she died:

Quote:It was not until 2010 that she was officially recognized as a veteran after a researcher found her service record in Britain's National Archives.

Joined the RAF at 17.

As for this:

Quote:"It reminds us of the Great War, and all warfare since then has been something that involved everyone. It's a collective experience ... Sadly, whether you are in New York, in London, or in Kandahar, warfare touches all of our lives."

Maybe if warfare did touch all our lives we would try to stop. Sad
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23-02-2012, 09:26 PM
RE: WWI is now officially history
(07-02-2012 03:34 PM)Zat Wrote:  On the other hand, if we don't remember it like that, we might do it again!

Lest we forget! Angry

But we do do it again, and again…
WW1 was truly horrible, a slow pointless death in some muddy field.
We learnt nothing, it wasn’t long before WW2 stripped Europe of its youth, more death.
Death on a grand scale.
The solders went from the victory parades of Europe to Korea for another round.

We don’t learn from our mistakes, we learn to justify them.

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. Friedrich Nietzsche
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