To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high.
Even I get distracted from food and dogs now and then. I have been watching “Blackadder Goes Forth,” and (spoiler alert) somehow, the last scene where the boys go over the top and into the line of fire with all of them getting killed followed by the poppies growing in the healing field makes one of the more poignant arguments against war that I’ve seen.
In the UK and Commonwealth nations, today is Remembrance Sunday. Tomorrow in the US, it’s Veterans’ Day, formerly known as Armistice Day. World War I ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.
The original intention was to remember the soldiers who lost their lives, and express gratitude to the living survivors. It was supposed to be a day of contemplating peace. It was supposed to be the war to end all wars; it was the first war to use chemical weapons and tanks and planes,upping the horror quotient. It wasn’t, and it didn’t.
World War II. Korea. Vietnam. Gulf Wars. Afghanistan. Each one brought its own developments in terror: nuclear weapons, Agent Orange, drones. Each one upping the ante for destroying the planet and personal freedoms as well as being repurposed for civilian misuse, such as the chemicals now used in agricultural applications and drones patrolling for municipal law enforcement agencies.
So I will watch that last episode of “Blackadder,” and I will be grateful to the real-life soldiers who gave so much on those field in France almost a century ago.
And I will do what I can to promote peace, starting in my own heart.