The wars and its survivors

Survivors ? Perhaps: victims should be more appropriate. Or just simply, men and woman who lived through the horrors of armed conflicts. Through the killing fields organized by kings, presidents and governments. Killing fields that did nothing to improve the lot of the soldiers and their families.
Today it was time for Harry Patch from England to go to the other side. Last one in England, a mere 2 weeks after his comrade, the oldest men alive (prior to his death of course), Henry Allingham, who was 113 old. Harry Patch was 111 years old. He was a strange man in some sense. For over 70 years he hardly spoke about his experiences, thoughts. But than, when he turned 100 he somehow realised that it might be a short time when neither he nor any one else would be alive to tell their feelings. So he did. Not about the bravery, the selflessness, the patriotic duty and sacrifice for “god, honor and country’. No, he talked about the stupidity, the inhumanessness, the murder of war. When a man who is 100 and have seen this and that in life and doesn’t expect much more of it anymore, talks – people should listen. About the total senseless ideology of war. About the fact that in foremost it is an act of killing and murder. Unforgivable. Unless it is a defensive war, when under attack, there could be no justification of it today. Nor really was there at any other time. We have been duped so many times by our ‘reat leaders’ that our sons and daughters must go to some far away places to “help” restore justice and peace. And the “restoration” starts always with bombs, carnage and blood. Than we hear the sad story of 100, perhaps even 1000 lives lost. As sad as it sounds, such a small number is giving us a sense of false resignations: yes, it is tragic that they died, but their death hopefully prevented much larger atrocities and higher number of deaths. What a load of crap. Harry Patch didn’t prevent much and he knew it. He was just a piece of meat for guns. Every war makes victors. But none of them are nations, not even the ‘victorious” one. The true victors are the captains of the industry and power-crazy ‘leaders”. The “Patches” do not matter. At the same time as Mr. Poter time in trenches and roughly in the same place was German young soldier, Remarque. He did not live to be a hundred nor did he waited for so long to tell his reflections on it. His antiwar books gained a strong popularity in Europe some 80 years ago. And what – in 1939 it started all over. When will we muster enough courage and sense to tell our modern “kings” – f… you and your wars! We have had enough.
This marks my first time ever of using profane language in here or on my previous blog site. And, strangely enough, it felt proper and right. I think that it comes with age. The appreciation of life, it’s shortness, uniqueness and fleeting time span. I have had the honour of knowing and befriending even some men and woman who lived and fought in 2 or even 3 wars. Including the ‘great’ one. They lived to their ripe, old age, with chest full of medals, some with hight officer’s markings. None of them gloated about war. It saddened them. They knew. And it saddens me, too. I wish they never had to earn the medals, high ranks and accolades. I wish they spent their youth in pubs, libraries, with lovers or just fishing or kicking a ball. Youth should not be wasted in trenches.

About Bogumil P-G

publisher, essayist, poet lived (and born) in Poland, later England, Italy, presently in Canada
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