November 10, 2002
3:46 PM   Subscribe

While the UK, US and UN prepare for various forms of battle, the Commonwealth remembers it's dead from two world wars, the Falklands war, the Gulf war, the Korean war, the Yugoslavian wars or any other conflict where servicemen died. Despite having my own to remember I can't help feeling maybe it's time to let the dead rest...
posted by twine42 (12 comments total)
posted by Neale at 4:06 PM on November 10, 2002

Dead soldier thrown from tank and other personal rememberences.

posted by four panels at 4:22 PM on November 10, 2002

the Commonwealth remembers it's dead

The commonwealth is dead? (Sorry, I know; It's no time to be a grammar Nazi...)
posted by kfury at 5:54 PM on November 10, 2002

Maybe, as we honor and remember those that have died during war, we can also remember those still held under the yoke of tyranny.

There are those of us who are free because of the sacrifice on the battlefield of so many. Even if not personally old enough to remember it directly, there are those around us who will. Let us take the time to speak with these people so that we can try and understand what life was like under the control of brutal dictators. In this way, we might be able to begin to understand why such a sacrifice was necessary.

If we can't do this, I despair for the future of those who are currently shackled by these brutal regimes. As long as we continue to turn a blind eye to the human tragedy and do nothing of substance to end these totalitarian hell holes, millions will continue to suffer and die, never knowing the happiness that can be a part of life.

So yes, yes, let us honor these brave fallen. Let us also hope that future generations don't look back wondering why we didn't have the fortitude of our forefathers and why we allowed such brutality to continue in our world.
posted by Baesen at 6:26 PM on November 10, 2002

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:07 PM on November 10, 2002

aerial view of Normandy American Cemetery
9,386 who didn't make it home.
posted by dhartung at 9:25 PM on November 10, 2002

Despite having my own to remember I can't help feeling maybe it's time to let the dead rest...

Remembrance Day as I know it in Canada is still primarily focused on those who died in World War I. I think that each time we are reminded how petty aliances and escalation of minor conflicts and disagreements can result in millions of dead, maybe we will remember and avoid it in the future. One can only hope.


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid 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.

-- John McCrae (1872-1918)
posted by Space Coyote at 9:41 PM on November 10, 2002

Is it just me, or does the last "MORE BODIES!!!!" stanza of that poem seem... dissonant... from the rest?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:44 PM on November 10, 2002

The soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
in that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Give somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
in hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Rupert Brooke
posted by johnnyboy at 1:51 AM on November 11, 2002

posted by Yelling At Nothing at 2:34 AM on November 11, 2002

Dulce Et Decorum Est

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 disappointed shells 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 floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a 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.

-Wilfred Owen.
posted by walrus at 3:40 AM on November 11, 2002

I'm not sure how many soldiers of WW2 are still alive today, but all would be over 70 years old (assuming they were conscripted or joined the army at 18 years old). For them and the close relatives of the dead soldiers, the war memorials and special day of remembrance are still a significant part of their lives. Together, we can do well to remember that "[ Remembrance Day] ..represents something honourable - an observance for those whose lives were shockingly abbreviated for their community’s sake - but it misses the point if it does not also instigate a hard, penetrating look at war and the meaning of war, aimed at making us resolute for peace, and as resolute in fighting when fighting is a genuinely necessary and unavoidable act of self protection. Remembrance Day would, in such circumstances, be even more pointful - not least because it is what the dead of past wars thought they were dying for.".
posted by taratan at 5:07 AM on November 11, 2002

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