Why?

Tower of London, Getty images

Tower of London, Getty images

“the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”

888,246 ceramic poppies, created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins surround the Tower of London.
A river of blood.
Each poppy represents a British military fatality during the First World War.
There would need to be a further 383,800 to represent British military fatalities in WWII.
Or 85 million poppies to represent each life lost, military and civilian, worldwide, in WWII
And yet another 18 million to represent each life lost, military and civilian in WWI
And how many millions more for each of those who survived; their lives forever changed by the horrors and hardships, maimed, orphaned, scarred…
Men, women and children… and the animals we take to war also.
And how many poppies for all those lives lost since to the bloody machine of war…?

And still we fight…?

There is no glory in war.

Image: Jeremy Selwyn

Image: Jeremy Selwyn

Anthem for doomed youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, –
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

By Wilfred Owen, killed at Ors,
on 4 November 1918, at the age of 25.

Lest we forget.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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24 Responses to Why?

  1. alienorajt says:

    Beautifully expressed, Sue. You and I posted at EXACTLY the same time today. xxx

    Like

  2. Thank you. The posting time was not lost on me either. Thanks for sharing the Tower photos. It made an impact when I saw the poppies in August, but now that the display is complete, all I can say is whoa.

    Like

  3. Noah Weiss says:

    These displays which make the numbers come to life–it really makes one think.

    Like

  4. A poignant reminder. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The numbers and the poppies – wow!

    Like

  6. Éilis Niamh says:

    Why, indeed. It is heartbreaking, and we don’t learn.

    Like

      • Éilis Niamh says:

        We have to hope so. But like you said, the change I think begins as much within each of us as among us. I believe one day enough of us will wake up that no one will be able to unconsciously choose to live unconsciously. I know I’m not alone in that feeling, however strange it is. I just hope I become the change I wish to see, and am here to witness and participate in whatever happens. I hope, and I dream, and I becoming one step at a time. That won’t change what happens in Syria or anywhere else, but what if hundreds of us started to recognize and live our interdependence? We can learn if we want to.

        Like

  7. And the beat goes on, apparently forever.

    Like

  8. jsackmom says:

    Very powerful, I really enjoyed reading this. Thank you for your insight and honesty.

    Like

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