Today is November 11th, which the citizens of the Commonwealth often celebrate as “Armistice Day”, and which Americans call “Veterans’ Day”. Either way, it is a day of solemn remembrance and respect for the dead of past wars, who fought and died by the millions. Did they die for the right reasons? It is hard to say, but I think it is probably fair to argue that if they could somehow see what the world of their grandsons and great-grandsons has become, they would be absolutely horrified at the way in which we have squandered the gifts they gave us.
Nonetheless, the fact is they paid that price, so that we would not have to.
Let us therefore remember them, they who shall not grow old:
Personally, I find the final scene of Blackadder Goes Forth to be a sharp and powerful reminder of the humanity of the men who fought and died in the great wars of the past:
Right now, there is a war raging in Ukraine that is very similar in nature to the one that many of your ancestors fought. That war is bloody and brutal, horrific in the worst ways imaginable. That war is being fought with far more advanced means and ways of killing, between one side that values human life and deliberately holds back its hand, and another side that is funded by evil, cannot build one damned thing, and wastes human blood as though it were water.
Wars are almost never a case of good versus evil. The Banderastan War is not a cleanly delineated conflict either – the Russians have their flaws, just as any aggressor does. But they fight as humanely as they can, in all too restrained a fashion, against a rogue state that happily massacres its own people and then blames the deaths of those innocents on the Russians.
None of that changes the fact that, from the perspective of the grunts in the trenches, on either side, they ultimately fight and die for their brothers. Just as your forefathers did, nearly 90 years ago.
We shall remember them. They deserve that much, if nothing else.
Happy Veterans’ Day, or Remembrance Day, whatever you choose to call it, wherever you are.
As for this week’s lovely lady to close out proceedings, her name is Skyler Simpson, age 23 (just about), from Florida, and she does… stuff. Mostly related to modelling, of which I know literally nothing.
Happy Friday, gents. It’s been a long and often frustrating week – intensely so, if you’ve been following the Banderastan War with any level of attention – but let us hope that things will work out in that direction, and that the lessons of the past will be learned.