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Lest We Forget  [message #76178] Mon, 11 November 2019 15:31 Go to next message
Bensiamin is currently offline  Bensiamin   United States

Likes it here
Location: USA
Registered: July 2019
Messages: 281

If you haven't read it before, ready yourself. If you previously read it upon its first release, you owe it to yourself to read this edited version, especially as part of commemorating Armistice Day (or Veterans Day in America).

I've never been good at writing short stories, I'm too given to lots of words. Notwithstanding that, I've always appreciated a great short story, one that crafts a character that engages the reader, develops an engaging plot line while creating a believable setting, and includes the requisite tension. Artistically crafted together, these elements propel the story forward while deeply engaging the reader. The big question: how to do it in under 5,000 words...or under 4,000 words as c_m has done.

This story is an Armistice Day post, and thus it is about being in the military and seeing service in World War I. It is also about being gay at a time it was illegal, and the penalty was severe. As an American, albeit one with British roots, I never understood that originally Armistice Day was about more than honoring those who served, and specifically those who died. It was originally created as "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated."

World War I was thought of then as "the war to end all wars." I can't help but wonder how different things might have been in the last century if the original focus on world peace had been kept. And, if a focus on world peace might have also led to an acceptance and tolerance of all types of people.


Edited to add the link to Lest We Forget - timmy]

[Updated on: Mon, 11 November 2019 16:43] by Moderator

Re: Lest We Forget  [message #76179 is a reply to message #76178] Tue, 12 November 2019 04:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teddy is currently offline  Teddy   United States

Really getting into it
Location: USA
Registered: October 2006
Messages: 425

On this day I think it wise to recall the war, not from the aspect of glory or victories won, but from the aspect of the devastation and tragedy wrought in the cost of the human lives of those who served and died. Germany - 1,773,700
Russia - 1,700,000
France - 1,357,800
Britain - 908,371
Italy - 650,000
USA - 116,516
Japan - 300
Romania - 335,706
Serbia - 45,000
Belgium - 13,716
Greece - 5,000
Portugal - 7,222
Montenegro - 3,000
Canada - 51,748
*And countless others, both military and civilian, from across the globe[/font-family]There is no such thing as a righteous or moral war, folks, no matter the cause or rationalization. War is little more than massive, self-justified murder at the hands of those who never learned to negotiate the art of social interaction while playing in the sandbox with all the other children.

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.

Poem by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

Or perhaps more aptly put by the late US Senator George McGovern, "I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."

[Updated on: Tue, 12 November 2019 04:54]

“There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is.” - Terry Pratchett
Re: Lest We Forget  [message #76181 is a reply to message #76179] Tue, 12 November 2019 12:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jolyon Lewes   United Kingdom

Toe is in the water
Location: SW England
Registered: September 2012
Messages: 58

I read this excellent story some time ago and have just read its second iteration, timed to coincide with Armistice Day. It's as good as ever and tugs at my emotions even more strongly.

Guy and Rupert may be fictitious characters but to me they are very, very real. 

Re: Lest We Forget  [message #76185 is a reply to message #76178] Wed, 13 November 2019 14:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pandareader is currently offline  pandareader   Brazil

Toe is in the water

Registered: October 2019
Messages: 51

Thanks for this great short story cm! I enjoy reading serials/novels but I'm happy to find some short stories to read, especially ones as engaging as this one. I guess I must have missed the first time it was posted, glad to have read it now. It was very moving and made me think about the human cost of war.
Re: Lest We Forget  [message #76189 is a reply to message #76178] Wed, 13 November 2019 22:39 Go to previous message
cm is currently offline  cm   United Kingdom

Toe is in the water
Location: Somerset
Registered: May 2017
Messages: 54

My thanks to all.of you  - both here and those who have emailed - for your kind words.

My grandfather fought in WW1 and survived...indeed, he was awarded the Military Cross, although, like many others, he refused to talk about it. For him, the sacrifice that many of his friends made was the only memory that counted.

I hope I have honoured those sacrifices with this story.
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