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In Remembrance

by RogueTrooper Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 07:47:29 AM EST

World recalls end of World War I

Ceremonies are being held across the globe to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Four years of trench warfare between Germany and the Allies killed some 20m people and redrew the map of Europe.

A major commemoration is taking place in Verdun, north-east France, where French and German troops fought for eight months.

The battle was the war's longest, and Verdun has since become a symbol of Franco-German reconciliation.

Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and the Duchess of Cornwall are French President Nicolas Sarkozy's guests of honour at the event.

But no veterans are in attendance, says the BBC's Jonny Dymond, at the service. Not one member of the two huge armies that clashed on the fields of Verdun survives.

Only the dead are left to be remembered, and the backdrop of the service is the ossuary, which contains the bones of 130,000 men who died in the fighting.

From, Harry Patch, a surviving veteran

In November 2004 (at the age of 106), he met Charles Kuentz, a 108-year-old veteran who had fought on the German side at the battlefield of Passchendaele (and on the French side in World War II). Patch was quoted as saying: "I was a bit doubtful before meeting a German soldier. Herr Kuentz is a very nice gentleman however. He is all for a united Europe and peace - and so am I".

Commemoration of the 1918 Armistice today - afew

The Associated Press: WWI exhibit examines role of Asian, African troops

After the guns of World War I fell silent, a young Vietnamese kitchen worker petitioned the leaders of the victorious Allied powers at the 1919 Versailles peace conference to support independence for his country.

The appeal went unheeded, and Ho Chi Minh ended up leading the movement that decades later liberated Vietnam from French colonial rule. <...>

More than a million soldiers from Europe's African and Asian colonies answered the call to arms, yet they were largely forgotten afterward, and promises of freedom were not fulfilled. The betrayal laid the foundations of the independence movements that ultimately brought an end to the colonial empires. <...>

"Asian and African units played an immensely important role on the Allied side throughout the war," said Piet Chielens, head of the In Flanders Fields Museum in the town of Ypres. "But very quickly after the war their contribution was reduced to a footnote in history." ...

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 08:02:29 AM EST

Private Harry Patch, a new BBC documentary

Harry Patch, Britain's last survivor of the First World War trenches, is to feature in a new BBC documentary charting a year in his life.

The programme is presented by the historian Richard van Emden who has become close friends with Harry, through writing his biography, The Last Fighting Tommy.

The documentary, Private Harry Patch, will be screened on 12 November at 7.30pm on BBC One in the West of England and repeated on 24 November at 7.30pm on BBC Four.

Richard van Emden says: "He has a certain grace about him. He has a certain quality which you don't find in a lot of people in this modern, cynical world."

Now 110 years old, Harry Patch has rarely been busier or more in demand. He's been photographed, painted and sculpted - he's even had poetry written for him by the Poet Laureate.

Harry was a Lewis gunner for the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry during the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.

He returned to the area in September to unveil a memorial stone at the spot where he and his comrades crossed the Steenbeek prior to their successful assault on the village of Langemarck.

The inscription on the stone, a gift from Harry, says it is erected to the memory of fallen comrades and to honour the courage, sacrifice and passing of the Great War generation.

Although the trip was supposed to be relatively low key, word about Harry's arrival in Belgium soon got out to local people and he found himself lauded and photographed wherever he went.

Harry's determined belief is that we should remember the fallen on both sides of the line so he made a point of visiting the German cemetery at Langemarck.

In the graveyard he collected some acorns to plant back in the garden of his care home in Somerset.

Private Harry Patch can be seen as part of the current series of the regional current affairs programme Inside Out West on Wednesday 12 November at 7.30pm on BBC One in the West of England.

It will be repeated nationally on BBC Four on November 24 at 7.30pm.

The programme will also be available on the BBC iPlayer for seven days after both transmissions.


Memorial ceremony Fontan, France 2007


Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 08:21:57 AM EST

Europe's oldest man has spoken of his sense of duty as he prepares to lead the national commemorations to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Henry Allingham, 112, will be joined by Harry Patch, 110 and William Stone 108, the only other known surviving veterans of the Great War in Britain, at the Cenotaph in London on Tuesday Nov 11 for a service of remembrance.

They are the last three, from more than five million Britons who bore arms when the Armistice was signed exactly 90 years before.

It will almost certainly be the last major anniversary of the First World War at which a living link with that generation will be present.

For Mr Allingham, who served with the Royal Naval Air Service and later the RAF, it will be an ordeal but one he feels he must endure as a personal tribute to those he knew.

"I don't look forward to it," he said. "I'm glad that I'm able to do something to serve those men who did so much for me, and all of us.

"That's what I want everybody to know and understand."

Despite being wheelchair bound he is likely to insist on being helped to his feet to lay his wreath of poppies in person.

At a Remembrance Day service at Whitehawk Primary School in Brighton (yesterday) he did just that.

After he was wheeled to the front holding a wreath, well-wishers offered to lay the tribute for him.

But he told them firmly: "I'll put it down," before being lifted to his feet and leaning forward to lay the wreath in person.

His memories of November 1918, when he was in Belgium, are still fresh.

While others stayed up all night celebrating, for Mr Allingham there was only one priority now peace had come.

"I had the good sense to get my head down," he laughed. "I had 13 hours of sleep, I needed it."

He spent the weeks after the war in Germany before finally returning to Britain.

"I began to enjoy myself, I had a month's leave, I made the most of it," he recalled.

"(Then) I got a job in an aircraft works and never looked back, I was very very fortunate, I never for one moment expected any of this."

Never expecting to be one of the last survivors of that generation, he sees it as his duty to preserve the memory of those who died in the Great War while he is alive.

"That's why I go on," he said.

"The children must not be left and not know what so many good men have done for them, on their behalf, on my behalf on your behalf.

"People come up and shake my hand in the street, I never thought that could happen to me."

But despite the passage of almost a century the memory of individuals he knew is still painful.

"I don't like to revive those things, let them be," he said.

"I would rather not have any more to say about that."


Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 03:42:55 PM EST
Here we all remembering the spanish soldiers killed these weekend in afganistan.... and they were really doing peacekeeping operations..well.. more like the most clsoest you get to that in Afganistan...

good time to remember...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 05:05:39 PM EST
Abused by a system that sent this young man into battle, he has devised his own manner in how to deal with fear. He hides it. Deep inside, he knows that if his fear shows, it may spread to other people, who, he is positive would all & forever point at him as the origin.
He must not show what tears at him so he now shows his petaled face, sure that everybody loves flowers. His mother told him so. Here behind the bushes on the edge of the park where he lives, he marvels at the people cheering loud explosions & worries for their safety, having seen the devastation these bombs, bursting in air, cause. He does not comprehend the celebration of independance that shines, reflected on his metal face, positive it could never warm his soul.
Young men like this will be seen more & more as the systematic abuse they have & are enduring starts to bloom . We, who would never use our brothers & sisters like this, are inevitably charged with taking their hand & reassuring them that some one cares. No amount of pills or programs or tests will ever help unless there`s a caring soul to help them along.
The thing that will be difficult will be to make sure these people are not pointed out as the originators of their troubles. There will be many. Please smile at them & be nice. Have a nice day, & count your blessings.

This image I shot at night when while fooling around with the resident skunk, I noticed the light on some statues. I had moved these statues a few days previously & had not yet seen them in the light from the porch. This light was a little behind the statues & a little higher. There were two lights on each side of the porch entry, one red & one green. [Don`t ask].
I went & got a tripod & camera& set up with the camera set at F2.8 & started with a 6 second exposure. I started fooling around with the set-up & went to get a few masks from my collection, & brought along a flashlight. I changed to a 2 second exposure & I would spray the shot with a quick bath of light with the flashlight. This is one of the images from that series. Another image from that series can be seen in a previous post called "DICHOTOMY"


The difference between theists and atheists is that the atheists don't set the theists on fire for refusing to agree with them.

by Knucklehead on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 at 07:57:02 PM EST

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