Lest We Forget.
“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers.
The area where I live is a testament to hope and survival.
I say that as some of the houses, old library, market and various other buildings went up just after the First World War and they were for service men coming back from the front line. Many places were there long before but all in all it was a developing community and the aim was to get men back to work, home life and sociability. The haberdasher in the market is over 100 years old, still owned by the same family and is a veritable Aladdin’s cave. Nobody seems to be in a rush to change it. Maybe that is a good thing considering the times we live in. Lest we forget.
If we think we are living in horrific times now it is incredible to think what people endured back then, during the war and the years immediately afterwards. The death and trench fevers of the field, the harshness of army life, the animals that died in service but even if you did survive that there was depression waiting for the returning men and on top of that Spanish Flu which killed 50 million. Lest we forget.
It must have been a very bewildering time.
No strata of life was excluded from the horrors of the reality of war. Many illuminati of the time sought reconciliation not just with the pain of losing a dear one but also the politics and leadership that allowed such a human tragedy to occur. The College of Psychic Studies became a place of research, debate and reform. Spiritualism was coming into its own. There are many books and articles in the College library about the subject and if you are so inclined then do look up the history of the College. The College really came into its own after the World War I. It is too lengthy to go into now but as a matter of social history and the emerging mediumship that challenged the Church’s creationist view, is well worth a study and will offer great insights as to the developing spiritualist philosophy and the enormous legacy it has left behind. Lest we forget.
Maybe it is worth remembering that period.
That dreadful war allows us to get our own times into perspective. Not only that but I do feel that the soldiers that passed on those muddy fields are never very far away. There is something powerfully evocative, when they are remembered, that stirs the soul. Innovative discoveries in science, medicine, technology and communication were and are evolved from the back of a dying service man. Lest we forget.
And so we have hope...
The Last Laugh by Wilfred Owen
‘Oh! Jesus Christ! I’m hit,’ he said; and died.
Whether he vainly cursed or prayed indeed,
The Bullets chirped-In vain, vain, vain!
Machine-guns chuckled,-Tut-tut! Tut-tut!
And the Big Gun guffawed.
Another sighed,-‘O Mother, -Mother, – Dad!’
Then smiled at nothing, childlike, being dead.
And the lofty Shrapnel-cloud
And the splinters spat, and tittered.
‘My Love!’ one moaned. Love-languid seemed his mood,
Till slowly lowered, his whole faced kissed the mud.
And the Bayonets’ long teeth grinned;
Rabbles of Shells hooted and groaned;
And the Gas hissed.'
Here is a little old spread to try, it is for a reflection on thankfulness.
What do I have to be thankful for right now?
In what way will this bring me happiness?
Should I be aware of any challenges?
What can I do to build on the advice given?
What can I do to maintain peace and love in my life?
Lest we forget.