Armistice Day

culture

On Remembrance Sunday, I managed to phone Mr. Bsag during the 2 minute silence--my watch was fast, and I had no other time-keeping reference. I felt terrible about that. Two minutes of standing still and thinking about the horror of war and the quiet courage of those who find themselves caught up in it--soldiers and civilians--isn't much to ask. To make up for my inadvertent thoughtlessness, I was doubly careful to observe the two minute silence today.

We heard a radio documentary on Sunday called Unicorns, Almost about the Second World War poet, Keith Douglas. He joined up at the age of 19, and was killed by a tiny fragment of shrapnel at the age of 24. One of his poems particularly struck me; Vergissmeinnicht has all the hard and visceral force of Das Boot. Douglas doesn't shield us from the pain and horror, and we have a duty not to look away. I wish this poem was historical, no longer relevant, but the tragedy is that it could have been written this morning.

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