It has been five years now since the start of the occupation of Iraq and I could probably fill up your screen with countless links to facts and opinions but instead why don’t you take a few moments and listen to the song, The Green Fields of France by Eric Bogle.
If you have some free time listen to the program (about 55 minutes) here.
The website, The Heritage of the Great War, has some interesting perspectives on this historical event. Demystifying the Christmas Truce is an analysis by Thomas Lower and Bruce Bairnsfather, a British soldier who became a war artist, offers his eyewitness account.
The Christmas Truce was short-lived and the war lingered on with much more killing and destruction.
German and British soldiers fraternize – Christmas 1914
The last six weeks have been emotional and difficult for my wife, myself, and our families. On August 29, 2007 my wife’s mother passed away at the age of 99. Born in Murray County, Minnesota late in the year she was one of 15 children. Teddy Roosevelt was president and women would not have the right to vote for another 13 years. She would live through two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and see many incredible changes throughout the world. It is difficult to sum up her life in just a few short sentences. If you were to look up the word matriarchin the dictionary, her picture would probably be there right next to the definition. Cooking and gardening were her forte and she continued to do both until the last couple years of her life. She was known for her ability to put together a complete meal (meat and potato’s included, of course) at a moments notice whenever anyone would stop for a visit. Her legacy includes her 8 surviving children, 37 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great grandchildren, and two sisters.
Just last week, on October 14, 2007, my father died at the age of 84. Born in 1923 in Summit lake Township, Nobles County, Minnesota he was the oldest of five children. He too would experience and see much throughout his life. Called to duty in WWII, he would see action in the Philippines and become part of the occupation force in Japan. Returning from the war he would marry and start his family. After a successful run as a small businessman he would start an equally successful career with the State of Minnesota. Upon retirement he enjoyed the great outdoors and his family. Although he suffered the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s in his latter years there were still moments where we would see his trademark big smile. His legacy includes two brothers and a sister, four children, ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Hard work, honesty, integrity, loyalty, commitment, perseverance, faithful-just a few of their attributes that will live on.
This drawing by German artist George Grosz in 1936 depicts a crippled war veteran, apparently trying to sell flowers to eke out an existence. This timeless picture is a stark reminder of the horrors of war. You can see this picture and others from WWI from the website The Heritage of the Great War. Don’t expect the site to glorify war- it doesn’t. It does show the grim reality of warfare and it also is great for those among us who are students of history. I only wish our politicians would take the time to learn from the past.