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  • Veterans Day

    In 1918, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month, the world rejoiced and celebrated. After four years of bitter war, an armistice was signed. The "war to end all wars" was over.

    We can hope some day all wars will be over. In the mean time, give thanks to the veterans.
    Steve

    Hop Drop & Roll

    “If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your
    shortwave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.” – Homer

  • #2
    Preach it, brother. Thanks to the many who gave their lives in hopes that they might ensure our protection. Thanks to those who risk their lives today to do the same. Sympathy to the families who lost these brave souls to noble causes and to those who live each day hoping for the safe return of their loved ones.
    -Greg Harper

    Nipples...do you ever have enough?

    Change is good. Bills are better.

    Comment


    • #3
      Every year on the nearest Thursday (club night) to 11/11, our Morris team sings the following song. It tears me up.

      Well how do you do Private William McBride,
      Do you mind if I sit here down by your graveside?
      And rest for awhile beneath the warm summer sun,
      I've been walking all day and now I'm nearly done
      I see by your gravestone you were only nineteen
      When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916;
      Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean,
      Or, young Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?


      Did they beat the drum slowly,
      Did they play the fife lowly?
      Did they sound the Death March
      As they lowered you down?
      Did the band play
      "The Last Post And Chorus?"
      Did the pipes play
      "The Flowers Of The Forest?"

      Did you leave e'er a wife or a sweetheart behind?
      In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined?
      And although you died back in 1916,
      In that faithful heart are you forever nineteen?
      Or are you a stranger without even a name,
      Enclosed forever behind a glass pane,
      In an old photograph, torn, and battered and stained,
      And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame?


      Ah the sun now it shines on these green fields of France,
      The warm summer breeze makes the red poppies dance,
      And look how the sun shines from under the clouds;
      There's no gas, no barbed wire, there're no guns firing now.
      But here in this graveyard is still No Man's Land,
      The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
      To man's blind indifference to his fellow man,
      To a whole generation that was butchered and damned.


      Ah, young Willie McBride, I can't help wonder why,
      Did all those who lay here really know why they died?
      And did they believe when they answered the call,
      Did they really believe that this war would end war?
      For the sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain,
      The killing and dying were all done in vain,
      For, young Willie McBride, it all happened again,
      And again and again and again and again.

      Eric Bogle (songwriter)
      My first novel, Bridge of Otherwhere, Michael Wilkinson, on Kindle. A tale of subtle magic, mystery, friendship and love. Tinyurl.com/Bridge-of-Otherwhere For US$ page: TinyURL.com/OtherwhereBridge

      Comment


      • #4
        I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally
        my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, all the
        people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent
        during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the
        eleventh day of the eleventh month. It was during that minute in nineteen
        hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped
        butchering one and another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields
        during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden
        silence was the voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can
        remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

        Kurt Vonnegut "Breakfast of Champions"
        Raphael Lasar

        To Plotz is Human
        To Shvitz Divine

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you veterans, both living and dead, and those who will be veterans but aren't yet, and those who never got to be veterans because they died in service of their countries.
          John Foss
          www.unicycling.com

          "Who is going to argue with a mom who can ride a unicycle?" -- Forums member "HiMo"

          Comment


          • #6
            At the risk of alientating just about everyone on this forum I would venture to suggest that what Armistice day does is to 'glorify' war. I could see the point if people stopped killing each other for their 'countries'. But they don't. Governments continue to declare war and ask people to die and kill, often for reasons that they do not understand. There's got to be a better way to 'remember' the dead than to keep on dying. Buying poppies doesn't come near it.

            cathy
            Cathy

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by cathwood
              At the risk of alientating just about everyone on this forum I would venture to suggest that what Armistice day does is to 'glorify' war. I could see the point if people stopped killing each other for their 'countries'. But they don't. Governments continue to declare war and ask people to die and kill, often for reasons that they do not understand. There's got to be a better way to 'remember' the dead than to keep on dying. Buying poppies doesn't come near it.

              cathy
              Consider me alienated. I think Armistice Day honors the ones who willingly, unwillingly, needlessly, or otherwise lost their lives in battle. It is appropriately recognized on the surrender date of WWI, a time when fighting among soldiers and countries at least ended temporarily. There is a better way to remember the dead than to keep on dying, as you say. Armistice Day is one such way. It is a call to peace rather than a call to arms.

              OK, I'm no longer alienated.
              -Greg Harper

              Nipples...do you ever have enough?

              Change is good. Bills are better.

              Comment


              • #8
                To out Veterans:

                Thanks to all who have served and are serving today!

                Today is a day to remember and honor our Veterans. I remember reading the post on the loss of Unibiker. A veteran who gave his life for his country. From what I remember he was a victim of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder http://www.ncptsd.org) as are many of our Veterans who return home from WAR suffer from.

                Let's not forget about them when they are faced with issues like depression, substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness, and many other psychological problems.

                Let's not forget about the 15,000 who have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the 2000+ solders and their families who lost their lives and loved ones.

                For me it is also a day to reflect on why we are in a War with Iraq? Our troops and our country deserve to know the answer to so many questions we are now facing. (Winnebago's of Death, Tube Tales, Yellow Cake and Phantom WMD's?)

                It is a great day to support our troops, not by putting a sticker on your vehicle, but actually helping them. I am sending money to Maxim's Million Minute March. It's long distance talk time for active duty personnel as well as hospitalized Vets. 800.479.5228 to donate. more info go to
                http://www.maximonline.com/articles/...aspx?a_id=6809

                Anyone else want to share how we can help our troops?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't think you should be alienated by what Cathwood wrote. I am sure she had no intention to offend, but knew she was articulating a thought that might go against the grain for many readers.

                  In the UK, we can buy car window stickers that say "Wear your poppy with pride". Although I have never got round to doing it, I have often considered buying one and carefully cutting away the "with pride" - not out of disrespect for the dead, but because I don't like the half-spoken assumption that there is glory in war.

                  Monuments in this country often say "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori": loosely, "It is sweet and proper to die for your country." Also, "For those who gave their lives" or "Those who lost their lives". Lose your life? How careless! I hate that expression. They died, or were killed, usually horribly, and most of them had no idea why.

                  Armistice Day dates from WW1, and that was not a clear cut goodies/baddies war with heroes dying for democracy as they fought the forces of evil. It was just another stupid European war between political dynasties, and the men who died (bravely or otherwise) were caught up in that - victims of time and place. The difference between WW1 and any randomly selected medieval war was one of scale, not of principle.

                  There were examples of heroism on both sides, but these were men fighting for the next man in the line, hoping he would fight for them. Soldiers fight for their mates. Few people in the trenches thought they were up to their waists in mud and sewage, starving to defend democracy - whatever they had thought when they volunteered.

                  WW2 was rather different. I think most of us would agree that this was, simply speaking, a war of democracy and freedom against tyranical oppression. That doesn't mean that the Germans, Italians or Japanese who fought and died were all evil - many, probably most, were good people, but victims of their time and place. Nevertheless, I accept there is justification for "pride" at the heroism of the Allied forces who made huge sacrifices to defend our freedom. Certainly we owe them gratitude and respect.

                  War is sometimes "necessary" - at least for the side that is subject to an unprovoked attack or threat. It is never good, and never glorious. The belief in the glory of military heroism is part of what makes war possible. If all people were truly civilised, there would be no wars. Politicians could not stir up a desire for war without the background mythology of military glory.

                  I am from one of the luckiest generations ever in history. I have reached 42 years old without ever having to join the army or fight in a war.

                  My great uncle Leslie died on a bombing raid over Germany. Recently, the one surviving crew member (the others were burned to death in the plane) contacted our family, and I was privileged to see letters and photographs of a man whom my grandmother (his sister) mourned for 30 years until she died.

                  War isn't glorious. Soldiers are sometimes heroic.

                  Put the politicians in the front line and then see how carefully they read intelligence dossiers.
                  My first novel, Bridge of Otherwhere, Michael Wilkinson, on Kindle. A tale of subtle magic, mystery, friendship and love. Tinyurl.com/Bridge-of-Otherwhere For US$ page: TinyURL.com/OtherwhereBridge

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I read this many years ago.

                    It becomes more serious as it goes on.

                    http://www.pagebypagebooks.com/Ian_H...dred_Thousand/

                    The title is instructive.

                    Volume 2 is "Carrying on after the first hundred thousand."

                    It is the WW1 equivalent of Spike Milligan's WW2 memoirs. Although Spike Milligan was a great comedian, and a hero of mine, his war memoirs make grim reading, in betweemn the jokes and banter - perhaps more so than an entirely serious memoir.
                    My first novel, Bridge of Otherwhere, Michael Wilkinson, on Kindle. A tale of subtle magic, mystery, friendship and love. Tinyurl.com/Bridge-of-Otherwhere For US$ page: TinyURL.com/OtherwhereBridge

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yep. That's it exactly, Mikefule. Thank you.
                      I've obviously alienated someone though.

                      Cathy
                      Cathy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cathwood
                        I've obviously alienated someone though.
                        I think if you reread Greg's last sentence you'll see that he's not that alienated. He jsut has a slightly different perspective on it.

                        None of us thinks war is good. I hope.
                        My first novel, Bridge of Otherwhere, Michael Wilkinson, on Kindle. A tale of subtle magic, mystery, friendship and love. Tinyurl.com/Bridge-of-Otherwhere For US$ page: TinyURL.com/OtherwhereBridge

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          No, I didn't mean Greg's post. I did read that. I meant the negative rep I got. Apparantly I'm a stupid liberal. (Sob)

                          Cathy
                          Last edited by cathwood; 2005-11-11, 09:48 PM.
                          Cathy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Slight correction: my grandmother mourned her brother for about 40 years, not 30. I'm a poor arithmetician after a tough week at work.
                            My first novel, Bridge of Otherwhere, Michael Wilkinson, on Kindle. A tale of subtle magic, mystery, friendship and love. Tinyurl.com/Bridge-of-Otherwhere For US$ page: TinyURL.com/OtherwhereBridge

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And here's another song from the same songwriter. It relates to a real historical battle. Read it.

                              When I was a young man I carried my pack
                              And I lived the free life of a rover
                              From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback
                              I waltzed my Matilda all over
                              Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son
                              It's time to stop rambling 'cause there's work to be done
                              So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
                              And they sent me away to the war
                              And the band played Waltzing Matilda
                              As we sailed away from the quay
                              And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers
                              We sailed off to Gallipoli

                              How well I remember that terrible day
                              How the blood stained the sand and the water
                              And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
                              We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
                              Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
                              He chased us with bullets, he rained us with shells
                              And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell
                              Nearly blew us right back to Australia
                              But the band played Waltzing Matilda
                              As we stopped to bury our slain
                              We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
                              Then we started all over again

                              Now those that were left, well we tried to survive
                              In a mad world of blood, death and fire
                              And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
                              But around me the corpses piled higher
                              Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit
                              And when I woke up in my hospital bed
                              And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead
                              Never knew there were worse things than dying
                              For no more I'll go waltzing Matilda
                              All around the green bush far and near
                              For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs two legs
                              No more waltzing Matilda for me

                              So they collected the cripples, the wounded, the maimed
                              And they shipped us back home to Australia
                              The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane
                              Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
                              And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
                              I looked at the place where my legs used to be
                              And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me
                              To grieve and to mourn and to pity
                              And the band played Waltzing Matilda
                              As they carried us down the gangway
                              But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
                              Then turned all their faces away

                              And now every April I sit on my porch
                              And I watch the parade pass before me
                              And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march
                              Reliving old dreams of past glory
                              And the old men march slowly, all bent, stiff and sore
                              The forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
                              And the young people ask, "What are they marching for?"
                              And I ask myself the same question
                              And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
                              And the old men answer to the call
                              But year after year their numbers get fewer
                              Some day no one will march there at all

                              Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
                              Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me
                              And their ghosts may be heard as you pass the Billabong
                              Who'll come-a-waltzing Matilda with me?
                              My first novel, Bridge of Otherwhere, Michael Wilkinson, on Kindle. A tale of subtle magic, mystery, friendship and love. Tinyurl.com/Bridge-of-Otherwhere For US$ page: TinyURL.com/OtherwhereBridge

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