Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day 2011

I belong to a family, and a clan, with a 300-year military tradition. I have attended more Remembrance Day ceremonies than I can count. And hated them all.

I shudder at the sounds of the guns. But the children's choir always makes me weep. As it did again today.

I share my life with a former soldier. When I think what might have happened to him, it stops my heart like a bullet.

I never forget my dead friend, or the wounded ones from the small town where I was born. Or my grandfathers who fought the Nazi bastards so bravely. But taught me that war is murder.

I live in a country where many people glorify war.

But I am not one of them.

So when I'm killed don't mourn for me.

Shot, poor lad, so bold and young.

Killed and gone...don't mourn for me.

On your lips my life is hung:

O friends and lovers you can save

Your playfellow from the grave.

Robert Graves
Fairies and Fusiliers 1918

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