On the ‘glory’ of War

A short post this.

Today is the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. There are so many more qualified, more knowledgeable writers on this subject than me so I’ll keep it short.  This isn’t going to be a rant about the evils of war, or what those who subscribe to the term, ‘the glory of war’, it’s about remembering those who perished and those who were damaged (physically, mentally).

In their thousands.

On all sides…

And those who ‘survived’.

In their thousands.

On all sides…

The Battle of the Somme was the beginning of the world seeing war on an industrial scale. Killing on an industrial scale. Horrific wounds on an industrial scale. Those who ‘survived’ wore the scars for the rest of their lives.  Some literally.  Some figuratively.  They, along with the dead on all sides, must never be forgotten.  Their heroism must never be forgotten. The horror of war must never be forgotten.

And it should never be repeated…  

Yes, defend ourselves.  Yes, protect our own. But don’t make it appear to be ‘la gloire’.  It isn’t. It’s dirty. It’s frightening.  It’s messy, both politically and physically. Ultimately, it rarely changes things for long. The peace of 1918 and the spirit for revenge, (in many ways understandable), helped create the political environment for the next World War. 

So, to those who talk about ‘taking on the…’ (put your own favourite term here), remember there is a cost. It’s not only financial, it’s not only physical, it’s not only psychological. War is much more than that.

Most of all, remember the cost invariably lasts for decades. 

Peace out.

JJ Mitchell

‘Never leave anyone behind…’

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