||[Nov. 11th, 2006|02:57 pm]
As far as I know, none of my family served in Europe during the Second World War. One of my grandfathers was an airman serving mainly in Japan and India, and the other was excused service because he was a farmer so they needed him more at home. But there's still a... responsibility, of sorts... because it's easily in living memory - hell, there's still people alive who served in the First World War, if fewer every year. I've got no idea if anyone from my family was among them, though I plan to find out.|
Ninety years on, the Belgian government are building an eight-lane motorway across Flanders Fields, over who knows how many bodies of servicemen that were never recovered. I don't say the site should be left untouched forever, but two or three generations is just too soon.
Lest we forget, it's said. Some people, it seems, are already forgetting.
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
That, if it actually goes ahead, is a bloody disgrace. I'm disgusted that they'd do that.
I'm actually glad that you used the still from Blackadder Goes Forth there, because that - given that it's a comedy series - ended on what is possibly THE most poignant note, and they handled it superbly with utter consideration and compassion. It still makes me cry now. "Brave Little Belgium" should learn a lesson from it.
"They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn,
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
I just want to say, for this, ♥.
My family lost many, almost an entire generation, leaving only my father.
Oh my. I had no idea they were going to pave over Flanders Fields. That feels sacriligious.