Remembrance day story

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Remembrance day story

Postby KLA2 » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:08 am

November 11 is Remembrance Day in Canada. I wrote this a number of years ago.

Remembrance Day Story

My grandfathers fought in the First World War and my father in the second. Fortunately they all came back home and suffered no debilitating injuries. I had never been touched personally by the horror of war. Remembrance Day therefore held no great emotional significance for me until one day in high school.

Mrs. S. was my grade 10 physics teacher. A brilliant scientist (she held a Ph.D. from MIT), sadly she was not a strong communicator. She would stand rigidly in front of the class, trying through her strong accent and stern manner to communicate concepts that were to her child’s play, to a group of students who were interested only in the latest Beatles song or what had happened at football practice. She was generally unpopular, a stern disciplinarian who handed out detentions swiftly and mercilessly and was notorious for enforcing the “no running” rule on the staircase.

November 11, I was in her class. At 11:00, the announcement came over the PA to stand at attention and observe a minute of silence. I stood with the rest of the class, bowed my head, and tried to imagine the sacrifice of people I had never known.

A whisper ran through the room.

Mrs. S., this woman of iron and ice, was crying. Standing alone at the front of the room, tears she made no attempt to hide or wipe away flowed down her cheeks. We stood amazed.

Later, I learned that she had lost a brother, other relatives and friends in WW2. The horror had reached out and touched her personally. She remembered and felt what I could not.

Every Remembrance Day, I think back on that day, and weep a little with Mrs. S. I think of the horror, the pointlessness and the waste of war. Most of all, I think of the pain it has caused for so many.

Oh, yes. Did I fail to mention the nationality that gave Mrs. S. that strong accent?

It doesn’t matter, does it.
"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
-Friedrich Nietzsche
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Postby Lance » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:13 pm

That's very touching.
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Postby Heid the Ba » Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:55 pm

Outstanding KLA2. :=D:

There was a thread on BAUT a year or two ago where Nicolas summed up Remembrance Day very eloquently.

I don't have time to look for it but it is in thread called something like 11:11:11, which Kucharek started about something else entirely.
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Postby troubleagain » Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:13 pm

Remembrance Day/Veteran's Day. A day we should be very grateful for what our parents/grandparents/great-grandparents did for us. I had *three* grandparents in the military during WWII (my grandmother was a WAC, I think.) They all came through physically fine, but one grandfather was never emotionally the same, and died of alcohol-related causes at 56 or 59, I can't remember which.
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Postby Heid the Ba » Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:30 pm

I don't see so many people wearing poppies this year, hopefully this isn't a sign people are forgetting. Google.co.uk always change the logo which is a good sign that that isn't the case.

I don't want to highjack the thread but maybe a move to "Here there be Llamas" or possibly a thread split? I think KLA2's OP could stand duplication.
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Postby KLA2 » Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:48 pm

http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babb ... post301445

Here is Nicolas' post. {perhaps someone who knows what they are doing can fix the link} :roll:

Here is the text of it:

With you mentioning it, I get the date notation joke.

About Google, it seems like they changed it only to the poppy logo in the UK and Canada, where wearing popies today is a tradition. Even though WW1 is remembered very strongly in Belgium (and still every evening in Ieper) wearing the (belgian!) poppies isn't done here in Belgium. I Guess it's because if we remember the dead, we can just go to their graves.

Still no reason for google not to mention the end of WW1 today outside google CA and UK.

About the graves of WW1, visiting them (both allied and german) is a obligatory school activity once in our life in Belgium. Endless rows of crosses, lots of them to the unknown man. Walking between these stones really makes you consider war from a very direct way. Every stone a man, a friend, a husband, a son, a father, from all over the world. Most soldiers on the german cemetery near Ieper were younger than I am when they died...

I want to make one thing clear for those who might not know it: In Belgium, on the allied cemeteries, we honour the men who died and their mission. On the german cemeteries we honour the men who died, not their mission. But we honour ALL the soldiers with the SAME respect, as they are the same people which lost a life just as valuable as ours. We continue to give them all a beautiful resting place and maintain these resting places in the best possible condition. The atmosphere on the allied cemeteries gives you the impression of thanking the dead for what they did for us, while that on the german cemeteries is one of sadness for the lifes these men lost. Today we remember THE dead, not OUR dead. If we would only remember OUR dead, we would be living in the same spirit that causes wars. In recent history the germans have attacked Belgium twice, and we've forgiven them, the germans who got annexated after WW1 even saw their language becoming an official language in Belgium, and we understood those choosing the german side in WW2. "Never Again" they said after WW1. The counter is at 2 already, but today we must think about these words again. That's the purpose of 11.11.11. Never to forget, never to happen again.

No matter which country you are from or what side it was in the war, today you should think about the lifes lost and how it ever could have happened. We've forgiven each other a long time ago, so now there's room for remembrance of all poor victims who suffered in a way we never want to see again. To let the true purpose of their suffering be the knowledge that respect for all life is the only option.

It was not my intention to make a political post, I wanted to give a different perspective on 11.11.11, based on considerations of peace, respect and social harmony. These thoughts may be applicable to other events, but are not meant as a metaphore for anything particular.


Thanks, Haid.
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Postby KLA2 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:45 pm

{Bump}
"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
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Postby Heid the Ba » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:08 am

Poppies much in evidence here, and two minutes silence is being observed more and more.

Lest we forget.
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Postby Heid the Ba » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:05 pm

Watching the RBL Remembrance Ceremony from the Royal Albert Hall and greeting like a bairn.
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Postby Heid the Ba » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:56 pm

One more time, puffy eyed and dehydrated.

Lest we forget.
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Postby Lance » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:36 pm

< Birthday
No trees were killed in the posting of this message.
However, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

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Postby Arneb » Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:15 pm

Herzlichen Glückwunsch!
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Re: Remembrance day story

Postby tubeswell » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:03 am

Two of my great-uncles (both my grandfather's older brothers) fought in WWI, one was KIA in the Dardanelles, the other died on a troopship from wounds after Passchendaele - the results of a sense of loyalty to the British Empire - such a vague concept upon which to sacrifice oneself. There were all sorts of repercussions in the family. My great Grandfather (their dad) died of a broken heart in 1919. My grandfather was only 12 when his dad died. He had to leave home and go and milk cows on some other farmer's farm, and lived a hand-to-mouth existence for many years. He got a break in 1929, when he got a loan to buy 100 acres of scrubland, which he began to convert into a dairy farm. Then the 1929 stock-market crash happened (another in a long string of consequences of WWI - after the German govt defaulted on its war-damages loans). Luckily for my grandfather, he had a few cows to milk to feed the family. Life was tough all over after WWI. Then Hitler got into power in Germany, and everybody went through it all over again.
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Re: Remembrance day story

Postby Heid the Ba » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:12 pm

It is that time of year again. I'm drunk, and for reasons too tedious to recount I'm thinking of my father who died five years ago who landed on D Day and both my grandfathers who served in The Great War. None of them bore any malice to those they fought. I'm watching the RBL Festival of Remembrance and, once again, greeting like a bairn.

Lest we forget.

Edit typo.
Last edited by Heid the Ba on Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Remembrance day story

Postby Heid the Ba » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:12 pm

Double post.
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Re: Remembrance day story

Postby Heid the Ba » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:14 pm

For the avoidance of doubt I didn't post last year as I wasn't in the UK but in Italy. As they said "Grazie ragazzi".
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Re: Remembrance day story

Postby Heid the Ba » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:46 pm

Oh fuck, they are talking about War Horse as if it was history, It is no wonder I drink.
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Re: Remembrance day story

Postby Arneb » Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:56 pm

Heid, reflecting on what you saif and on the "Mahnmal" discussion you participated in over at QC - This is one of the moments that really hit home the point I made (and which you explained and supported): You have a father who was one of the several million reason for the freedom, wealth and generally peaceful existence we enjoy today. He knew for which values he stepped on the sands of Normandy, and he knew what he'd have died for had he not survived.

My grandfather, a benign, soft spoken man, returned from Soviet captivity (in 47 - he was lucky), and never, ever said a word about what happened to him. But the man who had rarely, if ever beaten his three boys born pre-war regularly beat the crap out of the fourth, born in '45. And for what: For going to war in the Army of a madman criminal mass murderer, to be captured by the army of another madman criminal mass murderer.

And that is probably why you know that your tears are shed for good men doing the good deed and fighting the good war, if such a thing exists. In my family I can only pity and mourn the men who were forced to serve evil for nothing at all. Therefore, you can build memorials, and we build Mahnmale.
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Re: Remembrance day story

Postby Heid the Ba » Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:23 pm

RBL Remebrance at the Albert Hall again. Great that the ATA Girls got a standing ovation, some mindy just murdered "Abide with me". I am a mess, as always.
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Re: Remembrance day story

Postby Heid the Ba » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:50 pm

RBL Rememberance night at the Albert Hall. As usual I am a mess, and not helped by whichever bastard is chopping onions in here.
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Re: Remembrance day story

Postby g-one » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:23 am

Lest we forget.
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Re:

Postby Мастер » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:15 am

Arneb wrote:Herzlichen Glückwunsch!


Wir haben noch einmal vergessen!
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