Armistace Day – Veteran’s Day 2013
Ninety-five years since the guns fell silent at the llth hour on the ll1th day in the llth month of 1918.
Best estimates are that the dead and wounded are above these estimated figures:
Deaths: 9,407,000 +
Germany, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman
This accidental war of alliances and miss intended results that led to the grossest war to that date… the end of the colonial empires, the end of the glorious industrial age of endless hope and idealism. The end of glorious war and nation arrogance. It’s bitterness that lasted a full generation until a war even worse consumed the globe (85,000,000+).
France lost more than 4% of its population, Great Britain over 2%, NZ 1.69%, Australia 1.69%, Ottoman Empire 13.7%, Italy 3.5%, Germany almost 4%. The deaths were astronimcal. On one day the British lost more than 21,000 and on another the French lost over 27,000!
Politics aside and mourning and remembering being the point, I offer this very old poem written to remember, honor and mourn those lost in that horrible, not great, war.
For The Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.