Eleventh hour stories
January 8, 2004 3:28 PM   Subscribe

Eleventh hour stories: a project to gather true tales of war from the past 100 years from civilians, soldiers and veterans: " The telling and the receiving of these stories are activities that say: 'This must stop here and now.'"
posted by moonbird (8 comments total)
Don't these people have grandparents or elderly neighbors? War stories generally glamorize. Even if the stories are cautionary, no one listens. My high school had Hiroshima on the 10th grade curriculum for all students. A number of my classmates joined the military despite that cautionary tale.

There's no viable left in this country because of shit like this-- misdirected energy and alienating naivite.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:56 PM on January 8, 2004

great post, moonbird--unlike Mayor Curley's grandpa, many of us had grandfathers and other relatives who didn't want to talk about war, because most of the stories were tied to terrible horrific memories and friends lost, whether the cause was just or not. (on a sidenote: here's a list of prominent politicians who have war stories of their own, and those that don't)
posted by amberglow at 7:59 PM on January 8, 2004

War does suck ... hard to argue with that. But all the stories in the world gathered by sites like this still miss the point: that there is a difference between the opposite of war - peace - and the alternative to war, which is often not peace, but rather brutality at levels that are much worse than war.

Under Stalin, and Milosevic, and Hitler, and Pol Pot, and Hussain, and the Hutu Militias, there was "peace". And mass graves.
posted by MidasMulligan at 8:47 PM on January 8, 2004

unlike Mayor Curley's grandpa ... most of the stories were tied to terrible horrific memories

My "grandpa" lost the use of his dominant arm from Nazi gunfire in the Ardennes in 1944. He did it gladly to stop the spread of fascism.

Am I reading your belittlement right, amberglow? He should have refused to fight?
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:56 PM on January 8, 2004

hrm, i don't think he's saying that. just that he had relatives who wouldn't talk about it.
posted by quonsar at 9:24 PM on January 8, 2004

Good post, good site, thanks moonbird.
posted by plep at 11:41 PM on January 8, 2004

Coincidentally, I just came across this chilling account of (literally) the eleventh hour that ended WWI (from the London Annual Register, quoted in David Mitchell's 1919: Red Mirage):
On most parts of the front, fighting continued during the six hours' interval between the signing of the armistice and the moment when it came into operation... It was said that the last shots of the war were fired by a troop of King Edward's horse, who were proceeding to capture a field gun a few minutes before eleven o'clock. They shot two of the crew and were about to rush the gun when the officer in charge, watch in hand, stopped the operation.
Any tough-minded MeFites want to try justifying that?
posted by languagehat at 7:37 AM on January 9, 2004

Submission Guidlines: We are looking for true stories, real experiences, told in simple language, without great embellishment, without analysis, blame or theorizing.


The site author's idea is great, but they need to do a bit of housekeeping. This story would be interesting if it were written properly.
posted by rotifer at 10:21 AM on January 9, 2004

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