Tuesday, May 31, 2005

For Memorial Day

'Good morning; good morning' the General said,
When we met him last week on our way to the line.
Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of 'em dead,
And we're cursing his staff for incompetent swine.
'He's a cheery old card,' grunted Harry to Jack
As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack...
But he did for them both with his plan of attack.

—Siegfried Sassoon

For us Down Under, April 25 is Anzac Day.

More New Zealanders died in the trenches in France and Belgium than fell in Turkey, but Gallipoli was the crucible in which one of the earliest facets of a national identity was forged from the experiences of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.


At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some more Sassoon:

No doubt they'll soon get well; the shock and strain
Have caused their stammering, disconnected talk
Of course they're "longing to go out again"
These boys with old, scared faces, learning to walk
They'll soon forget their haunted nights; their cowed
Subjection to the ghosts of friends who died, -
Their dreams that drip with murder, and they'll be proud
Of glorious war that shatter'd all their pride...
Men who went out to battle, grim and glad;
Children, with eyes that hate you, broken and mad


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