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November 11, 2004

Posted by Teresa at 11:11 AM * 24 comments

I find myself unwilling or unable to do my annual post about the Great War. I’m sure I’d know why if I thought about it. I don’t want to think about it.

Comments on 11/11/11/11:
#1 ::: Robert West ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 04:13 PM:

I'd been missing the post, and refreshing periodically to check to see where it was. :) I've been trying to write something about it and finding it extremely difficult.

Happy Armistice Day to you!

#2 ::: Will "scifantasy" Frank ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 04:50 PM:

For the last few years I've done the same thing for Veterans' Day.

Call my grandfathers, both WWII vets, and then post a story they told me when I was a kid to my LiveJournal.

#3 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 05:06 PM:

I remain glad that the Great War is over.

#4 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 05:17 PM:

At this time let us remember Julius Fucik (1872-1916), student of Antonin Dvorak, bandmaster of the 92nd Infantry Regiment, Austro-Hungarian Army. He has brought joy to many people through his most famous work, Thunder and Blazes (also known as The Entrance of the Gladiators, (Einzug der Gladiatoren)) written in 1897.

He was 44 when he died, another artist victim of The Great War.

#5 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 05:18 PM:

It's been a quite and contemplative day here.

#6 ::: cee ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 06:18 PM:

It's A Pittance Of Time, is a song written in response to an incident witnessed one Remembrance Day [Canadian version of Veteran's Day] a few years ago. I think it will resonate with most as we remember all who've given their lives, no matter what side or cause.

#7 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 06:38 PM:

I remain glad that the Great War is over.

Indeed, the agents of the Ottoman Empire have troubled no one in the last few years. Much, anyway.

I apologize, Jo; point not actually directed at you. But I have a small suspicion that Teresa's decision not to post may be related to the thought that some birds take their own damn time to come home and roost.

George Santayana. Now more than ever.

#8 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 06:53 PM:

George Santayana. Now more than ever.

Now that sound like a T-shirt!

#9 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 06:54 PM:


[feeling like an idiot for not reading what I wrote before hitting post...]

#10 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 07:05 PM:

Just think of the new crop of veterans that we're all going to get to remember....

#11 ::: sennoma ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 07:15 PM:

For The Fallen
(21st September, 1914)

WITH proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond Englandís foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

-- Laurence Binyon

Lest we forget.

#12 ::: Robert West ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 07:15 PM:

We can only hope that our descent into imperialism doesn't lead to another worldwide catastrophe. The chances of escaping are, sadly, slimmer now than they ever have been - but it's not a certain thing, yet.

#13 ::: bellatrys ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 07:32 PM:

"...The new captain looked up. Oh, good grief, Vimes thought. It's bloody Rust this time round! And it was indeed the Hon. Ronald Rust, the gods' gift to the enemy, any enemy, and a walking encouragement to desertion.

The Rust family had produced great soldiers, by the undemanding standards of "Deduct Your Own Casualties From Those Of The Enemy, And If The Answer Is A Positive Sum, It Was A Glorious Victory" school of applied warfare. But Rust's lack of any kind of military grasp was matched only by his high opinion of the talent he, in fact, possessed only in negative amounts..."

--Terry Pratchett, Night Watch, 2002

#14 ::: bellatrys ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 07:34 PM:

Robert, I'm thinking we're one ceremonial cup-o'-blood from the fate of the Mayas right now. Only this time it won't be a chunk of a small subcontinent left an overfarmed, depopulated former power...

#15 ::: julia ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 08:10 PM:

Marlene Dietrich, who was fiercely pro-ally in WW2 despite the Nazis holding her family in Europe, spent most of the war doing USO tours.

She used to sing "Where have all the flowers gone?" at all her concerts until she died.

#16 ::: hkreader ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 08:47 PM:

I've been thinking about it too. Talked w/ my daughter and son a bit about it, at the elder's request got a book out of the library on it, but they are too young (eight and six) and I did not want to show them the worst pictures.

Maybe in a few years let them watch "All Quiet on the Western Front"?

Also looking at maps in that book, thinking like John Ford who posted above about chicken coming home to roost.

I like the idea of the "George Santayana: Now More Than Ever" T-shirt.

#17 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 08:56 PM:

The Big Parade with John Gilbert and Renee Adoree, directed by King Vidor.

Go see it.

#18 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 09:04 PM:

One of the most moving pieces that I've seen about the great war is Charlie Grant's War.

#19 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2004, 09:26 PM:

With regard to Tom's earlier comment about the new veterans...

...there's this one hall at my school, one of the prettiest buildings on campus, whose walls are inscribed with the names of students and alumni who fell in the Great War. With each listing - and there are easily hundreds - is included the man's class year, and itís striking just how many members of the class of, say, 1919, died instead in 1918 or 1917.

I canít begin to describe how almost creepy it was walking through that hall this morning, thinking about how those dates would look were they altered a few decades to reflect the fallen of todayís war.

#20 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2004, 12:33 AM:

It's been an oddly painful day for me. Moreso than last year, when my comrades were still overseas.

Perhaps the election adds to my morbid thoughts, or the comments I see, here and there.

I fear, as I look at the world that I may not live to see old age.

I wonder what my grandfather(s) and I might be able to talk about now, that we couldn't before. I think dark and weary thoughts, seeing Mordor in the pockmarks of France, and things unspeakable in my mind's eye.

If I didn't have a train to catch the early morning gloaming, I think I might get good and drunk, and remember, because I keep hearing strains of Waltzing Matilda.


#21 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2004, 01:24 AM:

It suddenly struck me that, with the improvements in body armor, we may be seeing more vets in the future who bear a striking resemblance to the protagonist in "Johnny Got His Gun."

That horrifies me.

#22 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2004, 01:27 AM:

Mike Ford's on the right track, but in the end, I couldn't bear not to post it. So many of them asked only to be remembered.

#23 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2004, 05:57 AM:

"[...] the agents of the Ottoman Empire have troubled no one in the last few years. [...]"

No, it is rather the absence of the empire. "Though thirty spokes may form the wheel, it is the hole within the hub which gives the wheel utility." The parts of the world struggle for their voices, and then to make harmony or discord.

#24 ::: A Reader ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2004, 09:43 AM:

"...the agents of the Ottoman Empire have troubled no one in the last few years..."

"...But I have a small suspicion that Teresa's decision not to post may be related to the thought that some birds take their own damn time to come home and roost..."

"Bilbo looked quickly at Frodo's face and passed his hands across his eyes. 'I understand now,' he said. 'Put it away! I am sorry: sorry you have come in for this burden: sorry about everything. Don't adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story."

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