In Remembrance of Honorable Soldiers on Armistice Day (2013)

11 November, 2013

We have reached another Armistice Day (in modern parlance Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth and Veterans Day in the US).  It originally served as a remember of the end of the Great War, the Armistice that ended the war starting at 11:11am on 11 November, 1918, and those who served and died there.  Since then, it has been expanded to include the many others who have served and died for their country in honorable service through the years.

If you remember, pause for a minute of silence to honor the brave soldiers and other members of the armed forces that have guarded us -and still do- at 11:11am.

Though do not let us forget, “It is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we should grow too fond of it.” -Robert E Lee

And, as is my want, a war poem, to stir memories, this one from an Austrian poet:

Georg Trakl (1887 – 1914)

From deadly weapons the autumn woods resound
At dusk; the golden plains,
Blue lakes, whereover rolls in gloomier light
The sun; night embraces
Dying warriors, the wild lament
Of their broken mouths.
But quietly there in the willow ground
Red mists collect, where dwells a wrathful god,
Spilt blood poured out, lunar coolness.
All roads end in black putrefaction.
Under the stars and golden branches of the night
The sister’s shade sways through the silent grove
To greet the ghosts of the heroes, the bleeding heads;
And softly in the reeds resound the dark flutes of autumn.
O prouder lament! You brazen altars,
Today a mighty sorrow feeds the spirit’s searing flame,
The grandchildren unborn.

(Translation S. L. Hardy)


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