“I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.”
- Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
I was feeling quietly devastated by the loss of life represented by the 1,000s of Commonwealth headstones we saw stretching out in all directions, on Friday, out there on Flanders Fields.
I'm always left imagining the ghosts of those brave and beautiful young men who believed they were saving the world when they agreed to fight in the 'Great War' ... I imagine them standing round as we visit their graves, and I wonder how many are bitter.
And then a butterfly arrived on the flowers in front of one those tombstones.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission does a magnificent job in taking care of the memories of all those who died. The flowers, the closely-mown lawns, the pristine white headstones.
Dead but not forgotten. Never ... Meanwhile our governments go on creating new wars, borders and boundaries. I suspect nothing was learned.