Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day, 2014

Here dead lie we
because we did not choose
to live and shame
the land from which we sprung.

Life, to be sure
is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
and we were young.
--A E Housman, 1936, "Here Dead Lie We"
We care for our own

To save your world, you asked this man to die:
Would this man, could he see you now, ask why?
--W H Auden, 1953, "Epitaph for the Unknown Soldier"
Memorial Day, 2011

Memorial Day, 2012

Memorial Day, 2013


  1. Few words, powerful meaning. As it should be.

  2. Nobody asked him to die, not even the pols who created the wars (or our participation in some one else's wars) for their own reasons, hardly in defense of "freedom." More likely in defense of their careers. Whether conscripted or volunteered the troop sure wasn't planning on dying, either. There comes a point where all this poetic hurrah is just so much meaningless twaddle. Intended to make meaningful what was more often than not a thoroughly meaningless event.

    1. If you insist, as do many these days, that their death had no meaning, allow for those who freely lent themselves to a major endeavor and fully understood the inherent risk. In the military they found another family, a primal draw that makes sense to our species. I've known both types, and I have no argument that will sway either one.


Comments are welcome and discussion is open and encouraged. I expect that there will be some occasional disagreement (heaven knows why) or welcome clarification and embellishment, and such are freely solicited.

Consider that all such comments are in the public domain and are expected to be polite, even while contentious. I will delete comments which are ad hominem, as well as those needlessly profane beyond the realm of sputtering incredulity in reaction to some inanity, unless attributed to a quote.

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