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11/11: In memory of...

...my Grandpa Waldo Fitzgerald, who was a soldier in the Great War.

...and his brother Don Fitzgerald, one of oh, so many soldiers who spent the rest of his life suffering from the effects of mustard gas.

...and all who served in that awful war. The war thought to end all wars, only it didn't.

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don_fitch
Nov. 11th, 2014 07:46 pm (UTC)
Yes. I can't find any of the crepe-paper poppies the Veterans Organizations used to make at sell for this day, and this makes me sad. A few years ago a young salesprson asked me why I was wearing one, and I explained about Flanders and its acres and acres of poppy-covered graves of American soldiers. She was, I think, suitably impressed. That war was a bit more than a decade before I was born, but my father served in it (never going overseas, but...), and it seemed to be a part of my life. That's not the case with young people today; sometimes that seems like a good thing, and sometimes I think it ought to be remembered lest it be repeated. (I'm thinking of TNH's account of reading about WWI, along the lines of "They did What!? and then What!? and then reapeated it?" The military stupidity resulting in an unprecedented number of soldiers' deaths was nearly incredible.

Sadly, there is no Emblem to memorialize the vast number of innocent (well... more or less) civilians who have been slaughtered in more recent wars, now that we have moved in the direction of tolerating enormous "collateral damage". (What is it... something like 100,000 premature deaths in Iraq alone, caused by the American People, and more continuing in other NearEast countries? Do we really expect the survivors to ever like or respect us? After our drone bomb killed Aunt Fatima, whose worst sin in life was feeding kids cookies so close to dinner-time as to spoil their appetites?)

don_fitch
Nov. 11th, 2014 08:53 pm (UTC)
Yes.

I can't find any of the crepe-paper poppies the Veterans Organizations used to make and sell for this day, and this makes me sad. A few years ago a young salesperson asked me why I was wearing one, and I explained about Flanders and its acres and acres of poppy-covered graves of American soldiers. She was, I think, suitably impressed. That war was a bit more than a decade before I was born, but my father served in it (never going overseas, but...), and it seemed to be a part of my life. That's not the case with young people today; sometimes that seems like a good thing, and sometimes I think it ought to be remembered lest it be repeated. (I'm thinking of TNH's account of reading about WWI, along the lines of "They did What!? and then What!? and then repeated it?" The military stupidity resulting in an unprecedented number of soldiers' deaths was nearly incredible.)

Sadly, there is no Emblem to memorialize the vast number of innocent (well... more or less, I suppose) civilians who have been slaughtered in more recent wars, now that we have moved in the direction of accepting enormous "collateral damage". (What is it... something like 100,000 premature deaths in Iraq alone, caused by the American People (whose elected Government wanted a Change of Regime & access to more oil), and more continuing in other NearEast countries? Do we really expect the survivors to ever like or respect us? After our drone bomb killed Aunt Fatima, whose worst sin in life was feeding kids cookies so close to dinner-time as to spoil their appetites?)

And, as I understand it, the Belgians not only maintain those graves, they've deeded the land to the United States. So I suppose we could build Guantanamo-like secret prisons on it, in which we could hold (& torture, as long as we don't _call_ it "torture") people indefinitely, without trial. Somehow, the very real horrors of WWI pale, to me, in the light of the Reality of modern America.
And yes, the American People, through their Legislators, have granted the President the dictatorial Right to imprison anyone, indefinitely, without trial, and to order the execution of anyone, and to keep all this secret. We now live in what I would once have called "that kind of country", and the only good thing I can see about it is that I'm certainly going to die in less than 20 years and won't mind this as much as I would if I lived in a country I could accord high respect.

don_fitch
Nov. 11th, 2014 09:03 pm (UTC)
Oops! My computer/ISP didn't let me know what they were doing. The second copy posted here is the one that's best read.

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