Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Poppy day

One of my former neighbours, before her house was leased to a skateboard shop and the garden ripped out, had a sizable planting of poppies. I had seldom seen these flowers in real life before and never so many at once; whenever I walked past I always marveled at how strangely beautiful they are, and thought of Flanders Fields.

Though they're gone now, I was still able to spend some time remembering military sacrifices last night watching The History Channel.

And what really struck me was how much the now-elderly men who give witness to these battles remember about them. They were so young - two of them, I noticed, were just 21 when they happened - and between the bombs and the fires and the artillery, the chaos must have been complete: and yet they have every detail at their fingertips.

It's the trauma, I expect. But I appreciate that they remember so we can, too. And I'm glad to be able to do that today.

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