Armistice Day 100

by Grania

Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. An American artillery gun from the 11th Field Artillery Regiment named “Calamity Jane” fired a single shot at this time, known as the closing shot of the war. (Wikipedia)

Of course, this wasn’t the actual end of the war and the peace only lasted a scant two decades before a deadlier war broke out. But the commemoration brings nations together in a gesture of peace and goodwill and remembrance of sacrifice and heroism each year. Here are some moments from this year’s ceremonies.

A touching moment between two leaders.

 

The ceremony has been somewhat detracted from by the non-presence of someone who apparently couldn’t make it because of the rain.

This has inevitably led to a fair amount of satirical and angry commentary when he did finally turn up.

 

Not from 2018 but very apt especially at the 1.22 mark.

 

Although Blackadder Goes Forth was a comedy series, it’s final scenes were among the most poignant commentary on the troops in the trenches I’ve ever seen.

 

 

 

 

Hat-tip: Matthew

85 Comments

  1. mikeyc
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    These lyrics from the Dropkick Murphys “Green Fields of France” always get me;

    “The sun shining down on these green fields of France
    The warm wind blows gently and the red poppies dance
    The trenches have vanished long under the plow
    No gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now
    But here in this graveyard that’s still no mans land
    The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
    To man’s blind indifference to his fellow man
    And a whole generation were butchered and damned

    Did they beat the drums slowly
    Did they play the fife lowly
    Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down
    Did the band play the last post and chorus
    Did the pipes play the flowers of the forest

    And I can’t help but wonder oh Willy McBride
    Do all those who lie here know why they died
    Did you really believe them when they told you the cause
    Did you really believe that this war would end wars
    Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
    The killing and dying it was all done in vain
    Oh Willy McBride it all happened again
    And again, and again, and again, and again”

    • neil
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Not to criticise,but it’s actually from ‘No Man’s Land’ by Eric Bogle. My…preferred version is by June Tabor.

    • gscott
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      As neil says, the June Tabor version is the best.

      The absolute worst version is something I heard only once, wbere some idiot wrote an extra verse where Willy McBride answers and tries to turn the whole thing into a pro-war song.

      • neil
        Posted November 11, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        Probably the very worst version i heard was by The Men They Couldn’t Hang, who sang it in that horrible sneering snarl that The Pogues popularised. There’s a time and a place for raucous, and this song ain’t it, in my opinion…

        • TJR
          Posted November 12, 2018 at 5:13 am | Permalink

          Really?? For me The Men They Couldn’t Hang’s version is the best of the lot, indeed it is my favourite song full stop.

          The Eric Bogle original is superb, but The Men They Couldn’t Hang get the sad/angry dynamic perfectly. Brilliant live, too.

          • neil
            Posted November 12, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

            It’s just me; there are bands that, to me, seem to have a hollow darkness at their heart, and TMTCH are just one of them….

            Bestest Song In The World, in my opinion, is Song Of A Baker by the Small Faces.
            🙂

  2. freiner
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I first saw this years ago and it has stuck with me. It’s from Walt Kelly (the creator of Pogo) and refers to the recasting — in the U.S. — of Armistice Day as Veterans’ Day:

    The eleventh day of the eleventh month has always seemed to me to be special. Even if the reason for it fell apart as the years went on, it was a symbol of something close to the high part of the heart. Perhaps a life that stretches through two or three wars takes its first war rather seriously, but I still think we should have kept the name “Armistice Day.” Its implications were a little more profound, a little more hopeful.

    • Christopher
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      I think it’s clear that the ‘mercun masses don’t give a sh!t, and look forward to this day as a great time to go shopping to buy a bunch of crap for a discount. Might as well rename it Pre-Black Friday Sale Day.

  3. Christopher
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    For those who have an interest, the BBC has a treasure trove of WWI veterans interviews which can be downloaded as podcasts, just search for Voices of the First World War. BBC and Radio Ulster also have the WWI At Home podcast. Both are well worth a listen.

  4. historian
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Trump’s failure to march in the celebration is indicative of his belief that he can do anything without political consequences. Will the veterans and active military just ignore this this contemptible act? We’ll see.

    • Posted November 11, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps he was too embarrassed to show his face after accusing Baltic leaders of starting the Balkan War. No, I doubt it.

      https://www.newsweek.com/trump-confused-baltics-balkans-and-accused-confused-leaders-starting-yugoslav-1210939

      • Christopher
        Posted November 11, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        No, for that would require him to be able to feel shame, which he has repeatedly demonstrated that he cannot. Vanity, on the other hand…I think he was worried about what the rain would do to his hair, which one comedian pointed out, looks like cotton candy made of piss.

    • A C Harper
      Posted November 12, 2018 at 3:28 am | Permalink

      On the other hand a lot of other world leaders are out in force – either demonstrating their virtue or angling for political advantage. I guess there may be some who are honestly honouring the dead too.

  5. Posted November 11, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I love the tribute to the horses and donkeys. Spoiled the thought by thinking about how Trump would have reacted to such a thing if it happened today. Perhaps its my Trump Derangement Syndrome acting up this cold morning.

    Long live Blackadder!

    • Posted November 11, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Have some cheese danish and a couple of cups of coffee. Works wonders for me.

      • Posted November 11, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        I had a crumpet with lots of butter and a couple of cups of coffee. Seems to help.

    • Christopher
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      And Rest In Peace Speckled Jim…

    • Posted November 13, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Nice to see that too – Ottawa has a statue of a dog in one of the memorial places for this purpose. We must remember the nonhuman victims too.

  6. Caldwell
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    na·tion·al·ism
    /ˈnaSH(ə)nəˌlizəm/
    noun
    noun: nationalism

    patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      I notice that you only copy/paste the opening entry of the Google dictionary definition Caldwell. In full it looks something like this:

      nationalism
      /ˈnaʃ(ə)n(ə)lɪz(ə)m/
      noun
      noun: nationalism

      [1] patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts.
      “an early consciousness of nationalism and pride”
      synonyms: patriotism, patriotic sentiment, allegiance/loyalty to one’s country, loyalism, nationality, xenophobia, chauvinism, jingoism, flag-waving, isolationism, ethnocentrism, ethnocentricity
      “the resurgence of nationalism in Europe and in other parts of the world”

      [2] an extreme form of patriotism marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries.
      plural noun: nationalisms
      “playing with right-wing nationalism”

      [3] advocacy of political independence for a particular country.
      “Scottish nationalism”

      By saying this:

      “Old demons are reawakening, ready to sow chaos and death. History sometimes threatens to repeat its tragic patterns, and undermine the legacy of peace we thought we had sealed with the blood of our ancestors. Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By pursuing our own interests first, with no regard to others’, we erase the very thing that a nation holds most precious, that which gives it life and makes it great: its moral values”

      President Macron is speaking directly to Trump – giving him a verbal kicking for his coded language [dog whistle] last month:

      “A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly, not caring about our country so much. And you know what? We can’t have that. You know, they have a word—it’s sort of became old-fashioned—it’s called a nationalist. And I say, really, we’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I’m a nationalist, okay? I’m a nationalist. Nationalist. Nothing wrong. Use that word. Use that word”

      As for myself I would never say I’m a nationalist [non-doggy whistle version] nor a patriot because my allegiances go beyond borders – it is over-simplistic language in a complex world.

      Samuel Johnson quote goes here >

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 11, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        I think it possible (and consider myself) to be both a patriot and a world citizen. To be a “nationalist” is to be neither.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted November 11, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

          Well put

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      I used to dislike that word, now I identify myself as a nationalist.

      • rickflick
        Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        I suspect you don’t identify as a Nazi.

        • Posted November 17, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

          I don’t. I said “nationalist”, not “nationalsocialist”.

  7. tomh
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I always thought Kipling’s epitaph on the Great War was particularly apt:

    If any question why we died,
    Tell them, because our fathers lied.

    • Posted November 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Also a poignant mea culpa.

    • Historian
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      A 2015 article in the New Yorker discusses Kipling’s views on World War I and how they were affected by the battle death of his son, John. He pulled strings to get John a commission in the army even though he had very bad vision. Kipling was an imperialist who welcomed the war.

      The author puts in this way:

      “The lies that Kipling had in mind were the half-truths and distortions that the country’s politicians and opinion-makers had resorted to at a time of war, in order to stir up a blood-and-khaki belligerence. Kipling himself had slyly fanned the worst rumors of German atrocities in Belgium. But the ulcerating guilt captured in that brutal couplet calls to mind something else that Kipling did: pull strings to get John a commission, after John had twice been rejected on account of weak eyesight. In doing so, Kipling had oiled open the backdoor to the slaughterhouse that was the Western Front and sneaked in his only son. In the chasm between those two poetic ifs—one celebrating heroism and manhood, the other unmasking the men who manipulate such useful ideals—lies the tragic irony of Rudyard Kipling and the war.”

      https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/when-rudyard-kiplings-son-went-missing

  8. rickflick
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    In Flanders Fields
    By John McCrae

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

  9. Wayne Robinson
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    And of course the Armistice on November 11, 1918 didn’t end fighting in Europe. There continued to be bloody fighting in Eastern Europe for several years afterwards. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw is that of a soldier who died in the Polish-Soviet War. The Russian civil war was especially bloody. And the Greek-Turkish war. And several other conflicts and civil wars.

  10. Posted November 11, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I always get irritated when I hear some say “God Bless America”
    Sounds very selfish.
    “God Bless Everyone”
    Sounds much better.

    • Mark R.
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      “Ceiling Cat Bless Everyone.”
      Sounds much, much better.

  11. Posted November 11, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Interesting, or sickening, on many levels, that Trump & Putin both skipped a peace memorial. I assume they have other interests and plans. (Or Putin has the plans, Trump has the interests.)

    Also, I wonder if any Trump supporters at all noticed the symbolism that Merkel and Macron easily and powerfully embodied. Did any at all reflect on how pathetically incapable their boy is of performing any such act? (Rhetorical question of course.)

    • rickflick
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      “I wonder if any Trump supporters at all noticed the symbolism that Merkel and Macron easily and powerfully embodied.”
      Of course there must be some. The question is how many. I’d like to think that the effect of this and other event are cumulative. One percent is probably enough to determine the outcome of an election.

    • Posted November 12, 2018 at 4:35 am | Permalink

      I’m going to defend Trump a bit here. The reason he missed the ceremony was because of low cloud cover that meant the helicopter couldn’t operate.

      Also, organising a motorcade at short notice would have been a security risk according to the people responsible for organising them. Criticise Trump and his staff for bad planning if you like, but I don’t think this had anything to do with him not wanting to get his hair wet or other personal reasons.

      • Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Fair enough, though I must have missed his apology and explanation.

        And of course he would have done something idiotic had he gone.

        • Posted November 14, 2018 at 3:57 am | Permalink

          Of course he didn’t apologise, but he did use it as an example of “fake news” on Twitter, and he is, unfortunately, right on this occasion.

          • Posted November 14, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

            Though I think the media may go overboard at times, I’d have to disagree with that in this case. The event is entirely symbolic, and it’s up to his office to correct any ‘wrongly reported’ symbolism.

            In any case, I was probably partly wrong to imply that his nonattendance was deliberately symbolic. According to the LA Times T- was furious that his press officer didn’t explain to him that it would look bad if he didn’t go.

            It doesn’t explain why he didn’t bother correcting the impression by at least attending Veteran’s Day in the US, though.

            • Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:18 am | Permalink

              He did correct the wrongly reported symbolism – in his Twitter account.

              It doesn’t explain why he didn’t bother correcting the impression by at least attending Veteran’s Day in the US, though.

              Isn’t Veterans Day Nov 11? He was in Paris attending a Remembrance ceremony that day.

      • rickflick
        Posted November 12, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Sounds like excuses put out to cover the truth. I’m pretty sure no other American president would have missed the event because of cloud cover. Unless they consider him so unpopular in Europe they don’t trust him to survive a public appearance.

        • Posted November 14, 2018 at 4:02 am | Permalink

          Well he did attend a ceremony on Sunday and it was raining then as well.

          There are plenty of reasons to be critical of Trump. It’s disappointing when people make new ones up thus justifying some of his fake news accusations.

          This is an own goal by his opponents.

          • rickflick
            Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            Maybe.

            • Posted November 16, 2018 at 3:54 am | Permalink

              What do you mean “maybe”? There are photographs of him there.

              https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/13/trump-macron-paris-snapshots

              Denying things that are true won’t do the anti-Trump cause any good.

              • rickflick
                Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

                It looks to me he was very disgruntled by recent election losses, and didn’t want to engage with European leaders who tend to think of him as boorish. It’s just another instance of him thinking in terms of his own emotional needs at the expense of the world outside his head. It was the optics more than the substance, I will admit. You may have a point that we should hold back on criticism and save it for the big blunders – of which there are a gazillion.

        • Posted November 15, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          Obama missed the memorial ceremonies for the Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket victims, then immediately went to attend the funeral of the Saudi king.

          • rickflick
            Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

            Ya, well nobodies perfect.

      • Posted November 12, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        A real president would have found a way. I suspect he was trying to make a statement, some sort of anti-unity thing. Trump really doesn’t like any kind of meeting of peers. He’s a one-on-one kind of guy. I suspect he also doesn’t like to be told when and where to be by a bunch of foreigners. His pal, Putin, did something similar.

      • Posted November 12, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Those Marine helicopters have state-of-the-art avionics, and quite capable of flying on rainy days. I’ve seen them fly on a rainy day in DC.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted November 12, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          I think it was a good excuse not to fly 100 km in a low & slow chopper in a foreign country where I presume there is much less control of the airspace. Trump routinely causes flight delays back home when he fancies a bit of golf, but I doubt the French would clear such a big bubble of empty air for Orange Pumpkinhead & I assume he’d have to rely on the Armée de l’Air Française if a plane strays too close.

          Also in low visibility it’s much harder to coordinate a rescue should something go tits up.

          • rickflick
            Posted November 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

            “much less control of the airspace”

            I rather doubt that. Being smaller spaces and more governments, Europe probably is much more controlled. In the States, you can jump in your Cessna and go just about anywhere you want as long as it’s not a controlled space around big airports. In Europe the pilots complain about being closely monitored and restricted in what they can do. I flew in South Africa for several days and never had to file a plan or contact anyone. Europe, not so easy.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted November 13, 2018 at 2:53 am | Permalink

              What I mean by less control of the airspace…
              I mean that in the USA when Air Force One [the plane the pres happens to be on] operates ALL air traffic is grounded within a certain distance etc etc

              But while in France Air Force One does not have that authority – it has to rely on various French agencies who may have different ideas about closing an airport for half an hour – thus Air Force One is less autonomous with respect to security.

              • rickflick
                Posted November 13, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

                Gotcha.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted November 13, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

              I also wondered if there’s a perceived threat that’s not public knowledge – e.g. NATO exercise Trident Juncture finished a week ago – pilots in Finland & Norway [military AND commercial] reported losing GPS navigation signals over parts of the drill near Russia’s western border. It is reported that this is due to Russian jamming.

              The general view is that Russia is very capable in electronic warfare & IMO there may be too many unknowns to risk the pres in a Marine chopper. Their military aircraft routinely turn off their IFF transponders in international airspace [those that aren’t broken] & also intrude into foreign national airspace [such as the corner of Cornwall].

              • rickflick
                Posted November 13, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

                Possibly a big issue. I’m sure the military has backup navigation(gyros?). In the U.S. they are doing away with VOR navaids which means we’ll be dependent on GPS. I’m thinking they should leave some VOR in place just in case. During my training as a private pilot we touched on wet compass navigation, but it’s not exactly what you’d call sophisticated technology.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted November 13, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

                To increase precision we use a mixture of GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia) & Galileo [EU] over here in the UK, but we must stop using GPS ASAP IMO. The original GPS had a military & a civilian mode with the military being substantially more accurate. Officially/supposedly [I don’t believe this for one minute!] the ability to have two modes doesn’t exist in the newer GPS satellites [no Selective Availability option so all users are on the high precision military mode] thus Trump can’t turn off the service to everyone but US military if he gets the whim. We’d be idiots to trust this is true! I have a feeling the US has developed a backup nav system that can be switched to if they decide to cripple the world without touching their own capabilities.

                Galileo development needs to be sped up & the service hardened. Israel has signed up to it as has China who have their own system called BeiDou or BDS. I read yesterday of some quantum magic system under development that can ascertain its position in space/time without external reference & no gyros.

                There’s a lot we don’t know & I suppose you & I are years behind the secret stuff.

                You might want to learn some old school dead reckoning clock, stellar & compass navigation – just in case 🙂

              • rickflick
                Posted November 13, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

                You’ve got me thinking about a new system that’s self contained and easy to implement. I’m thinking you could use ducks. Place a duck in a Skinner box and watch how she orients via magnetoreception. 🦆

        • Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          Some Polish statesmen died in similar circumstances.

    • Posted November 15, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      I want to puke every time that I saw Merkel.

      • Posted November 16, 2018 at 3:55 am | Permalink

        Why?

        • Posted November 17, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          Because she threw Europe into a never-ending migration crisis.

          • Posted November 17, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

            And do you have any evidence for that statement? What actions of hers started the crisis? What makes you think the crisis will be never ending?

            • Posted November 18, 2018 at 12:45 am | Permalink

              She declared that Germany would no longer adhere to the Dublin Agreement, according to which asylum seekers should apply in the first EU country they reach. This way, she encouraged every non-European able to pay a smuggler to travel illegally to Germany to apply there. The golden opportunity precipitated the unprecedented migration crisis of 2015 which fell to “normal-crisis” level only after Merkel made a shameful deal with Erdogan.

              The crisis can be ended if the Mediterranean is guarded, but this requires leaders who value the future of Europe more than political correctness. So I suppose the crisis is neverending. I hope time will prove me wrong.

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always been fond of this passage about Armistice Day by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (whose birthday it is today, btw, and who was rather famously a humanistic atheist):

    “When I was a boy … all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

    It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.”

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    “A portrait of World War One poet Wilfred Owen has been drawn on the beach in Folkestone, Kent …”

    Owen, the author of the great anti-war poem “Dulce et Decorum Est,” died in combat in northern France a week before The Great War’s end. His mother received the telegram notifying her of her son’s death in action on Armistice Day itself, while the bells in the local church were ringing in celebration.

    • rickflick
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      That’s what I read about John McCrae, the author of the great antiwar poem, In Flanders Field, which I appended at #8 above. Perhaps they are one and the same.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted November 12, 2018 at 1:39 am | Permalink

        They are different people – they both died in 1918, but McCrae [a Canadian] in January of pneumonia/meningitis & Owen [a Brit] ten months later.

        The primary reason Owen died is he returned to the front lines, despite having done his ‘duty’ already. He could honourably have stayed in Blighty & spared his poor old mum [& his poet friend Sassoon] much grief! He & mum were very close.

        I have read that his reason for taking up arms a second time was to gain an M.C. or similar to seal his reputation as a war poet [Sassoon had an M.C.]. Owen wasn’t ‘known’ at all while alive. IF this is true it is very Blackadder.

        • rickflick
          Posted November 12, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

          Ah…the romance of war.

  14. grasshopper
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    A moving song about WWI, written and performed by Eric Bogle. Joan Baez recorded it too, but her beautiful voice can’t portray the sorrow of the song.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 12, 2018 at 4:32 am | Permalink

      The lyric

      And when I woke up in my hospital bed
      And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead
      Never knew there were worse things than dying

      always makes me think of Johnny Got His Gun, the great WW1 anti-war novel written by Dalton Trumbo, the award-winning screenwriter who refused to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee and wound up on the infamous “Hollywood 10” blacklist.

  15. harrync
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    JFK and De Gaulle, no umbrellas, getting soaked in the rain to honor the fallen. Maybe the fact both had been in combat helped them understand the insignificance of a little rain.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Might also explain why each thought the other was all wet. 🙂

      Both were fond of Jackie Bouvier, though, each after his own fashion.

    • rickflick
      Posted November 11, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure a little rain had nothing to do with Trump’s abstention. He was advised that he would seem like a joke next to serious world leaders. I’m sure that’s true.

      • Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Merkel a serious world leader? Give me a break! She is 10,000 times worse than Trump.

        • rickflick
          Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          OK, 10,000 times worse than Trump. Hmmm…
          I guess I’ll have to defer to your greater knowledge of European politics. My view comes from the U.S. mostly.

          • Posted November 17, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

            Of course, everyone is more interested in what is close to home.

  16. Florent
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    “Of course, this wasn’t the actual end of the war and the peace only lasted a scant two decades before a deadlier war broke out.”

    This isn’t even close to being true, sadly. Dozens of wars lasted through Europe, the Balkans, and everwhere else : Hungary, Lettony, Turkestan, Iran, China…

    The “war to end all wars” was just a fluke

    • Posted November 13, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Yes, the Chinese would say that WWII began c.1937, and the Vietnamese and Koreans still earlier.

  17. Bat
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Thank you grania. This is a wonderful and moving anthology.

  18. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m very fond of Delius’ Requiem for the Young Artists Fallen in the War.

  19. Richard Jones
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for that.

  20. yazikus
    Posted November 11, 2018 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    I read WWI poetry aloud every November 11. I had a (very strict, very British) English professor in high school. We spent a painful year on WWI poetry – and I am forever thankful to Miss Ward for that. When it comes to USian politics, I am often reminded of a line in Sassoon’s ‘Suicide in the Trenches’:

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.

    I think we’ve been far too guilty of this of late.
    On the way to a memorial dedication in our small town today, I read to the kiddo a number of war poems. I wasn’t sure if I should, he is only 9, after all. But the pro-military fervor in this community is strong, and I want him to understand the gravity of war, and the gift that is peace. I wasn’t the only one sporting a poppy on my lapel at the ceremony – which is a good thing I think. We ought to remember.

  21. Peter
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ is the most powerful anti-war and anti-(nationalist hysteria) produced by the BBC. It was such a breath of fresh air, especially compared to Thatcher and all nationalims and war-defending we have seen from Britain since.

  22. Pray Hard
    Posted November 12, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Macron? Give me a break.


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