What can we learn from all these veterans and the graves of their comrades?

War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again, why’all
War, huh, good god
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing, listen to me… – Barret Strong / Norman Whitfield
I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield
Down by the riverside
I’m gonna study, study, war no more
I ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
I ain’t gonna study war no more – ¬†Louis Daniel Armstrong

1-img_3355-002One hundred years ago the world tried to make a decision for peace. It was Armistice Day, November 11, 1918.

The brutal conflict that had consumed Europe was named, “The War to End All Wars.” It seemed a reasonable title at the time because, well, who could imagine doing anything like that ever again?

So this is a good day to look at pictures of cemeteries. The stories they hold speak of real people who lived and loved and who were loved – each loss a bitter wound to a family and a community. They are stories of sacrifice, of bravery, of heroism, of service, and of struggle. But the poignant images of grave markers – row after row after row – also speak of how little we learn from generation to generation and how precarious the balance remains between war and peace.

Remembrance Day:

Growing up in England, Armistice Day was also known as Remembrance Day. Not just to remember with gratitude the selfless commitment of those who serve but also to remember (with caution) the dangers of nationalism, of “_____________ (any country) First”, of xenophobia, of arrogance, of racism, of polarization, and of the widespread creeping disdain for compromise that is rearing its head again today, that always leads to conflict, and that is disturbingly reminiscent of the world that went to war in 1914….

These photographs are from our last visit to Arlington National Cemetary. May their sacrifice guide us to a more lasting peace – DEREK

 

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Categories: commentary, Current News, life, politics, The Story, Travel

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