Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We Remember the Fallen

"'...Have many gone from here?' 
'Many lost?'
'Yes, a good few.
 Only two teams work on the farm this year.
One of my mates is dead. The second day
In France they killed him. It was back in March ,
The very night of the blizzard, too. Now if
He had stayed here we should have moved that tree.
And I should have sat here. Everything
Would have been different. 
For it would have been 
Another world.'"
 --Edward Thomas,"As the team's head brass"

This is the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the War in Iraq. Anniversaries are a good time to look back and remember. And so today I remember the fallen and this war that should never have been fought. The waste in human resources and money that could be spent to help this country is staggering. Let us remember.

4,500 American service persons killed
30,000 wounded
190,000 civilian casualties killed
Two million dollars spent on direct governmental expenditures
Leaving behind two broken countries
Not speak of the suicides, the broken homes and a torn up America

"After every war
someone's got to tidy up
Things won't pick
themselves up, after all.

Someone's got to shove
the rubble to the roadsides
so the carts loaded with corpses
can get by.

Someone's got to trudge
through sludge and ashes,
through the sofa springs,
the shards of glass, 
the bloody rags.

Someone's got to lug the post
to prop the wall,
someone's got to glaze the window,
set the door in its frame.

No sound bites, no photo opportunities
and it takes years.
All the cameras have gone
to other wars.

Te bridges need to be rebuilt,
the railroad stations, too. 
  Shirt sleeves will be rolled 
to shreds.

Someone, broom in hand, still remembers how it was.
Someone else listens, nodding
his unshattered head.
But others are bound to be bustling nearby
who'll find all that
a little boring."
--Wislawa Symborska,
"The End and the Beginning" (partial poem)
(translated from Polish)

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