Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One Grandfather, and One Great-Uncle, May They Rest In Peace

Everyone's posting In Flander's Field today. I can't ever read it the same way since the Iraq War and the administration's arguments for it.

The first part is the same as it always has been:

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.

It's the last part that I now have trouble with:

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.

It's not John McCrae's fault (although it always has been full of jingo), it's the fault of all the Bush toadies who argued that we couldn't abandon the Iraq War because too many people had been killed. Do you recall that? I can't help but remember it whenever I happen to read this poem. That was a self-serving argument that exploited all the pain and suffering that we exacerbated with a short-sighted, selfish invasion, and it has ruined for me what was otherwise a serviceable poem.

I suppose all the foregoing rant is moot, because I wasn't going to post Flander's Field today; I think that's well covered by the rest of the Internets.

I was going to post this all along:

Watch at YouTube. Except nothing visual happens, so I guess you can just press Play and go on with your other work.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

I am proud of you.

And you are doing some great blogging.