Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry's shot alarms!
Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon's sudden roar,
Or the drum's redoubling beat.
But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.
All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!
Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.
Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
We've seen the pictures of the stones, row upon row, upon everlasting white stone. With names that could be our own brothers and sisters. Our
fathers and mothers.
We've seen those Walls of Granite.
The Vietnam Memorial.
Or that memorial right down the street from where you live... Maybe it has the names of a friend of yours engraved upon it? Or the name of your
friends dad, or granddad? Or maybe that Dad's name is your dad? Or your brother?
All over the world we remember our fallen warriors.
...and a hundred other countries who remember our fallen sons and daughters in stone.
Why? Supposedly so we can learn from past mistakes...
...is repeated time and time again, all over the world. Children's lives forever shattered because we lack the courage to make war a thing of the
past. Instead, we allow it to become our present, and our future.
We find a reason to excuse the lack of courage. Always. Truth to tell, there's only one reason that rings true...
We Are Cowards.
One Tin Soldier.
Think about the lyrics of this song... Go on, think. We claim to detest war, and all the carnage that it brings, mostly to the innocents who
had/have no say in the matter. Yet time, and time again, we use excuses to explain away the fact that we can't stop killing each other.
Oh, we use the excuse that we don't control the decisions. Bull#. Only our cowardice prevents us from stopping it. That's it: Cowardice.
If we truly wanted to end war, we would. We can, if we want.
Here are some more lyrics to ponder...there's truth in music.
How many cannon balls must fly?
Blame the politicians. I know it easy to do...I do it all the time.
Blame the soldiers. I know that's easy to do, too...I hear it rather often.
Blame your war mongering neighbors. That's done, too. Isn't it?
Why not try to place the blame where it belongs? With me. With you. With all of us who refuse, by intent, or neglect, to do what's necessary to
How about this?
To deny our part in their deaths is to render their deaths, their sacrifice meaningless. Empty. A straw death. A crime.
If we do nothing this is our legacy as a nation. As a world.
Soldiers go where we tell them to go... They don't choose to go to Tarawa, Normandy, Iwo Jima, Da Nang, Chosin Reservoir, Baghdad, or tens of
thousands of places with no names that we'll never hear of...
We put them there. Either through intent, or apathy. The jungles of SE Asia. The mountains, and sands of the Middle East. The atolls of the
Pacific. The waters of every single ocean on Earth. ...and the skies above. These men and women went because we told them to. Because that was
their duty to us, and to their brothers and sisters.
...and for that duty, some of you hate them. Vilify them. Ignore them. Treat them like pariahs.
So tomorrow, tonight, actually any old time will do. Remember them. They stood up to be counted when we called. Regardless of "sides", brave
young men, and women stood to be counted, to do our bidding. They've done their part. ...and so many millions paid for that with their lives, with
their health, with their very sanity.
Is it too much to ask that we match their sacrifice with courage enough to help end the necessity of it all.
Necessity? When will it be enough, and not necessary any more?
Isn't this a better way?
In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1872 - 1918
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.
If we break faith with our fallen, we deserve what ever fate may have in store for us.
Maybe, just maybe, we deserve to be haunted by the fallen.