Sunday, November 11, 2012

What have we learned?

Today is the day when armistice was declared to end World War I.  It was a day specified for its numbers:  11th month, 11th day, at the 11th hour.  Papers were signed, soldiers went home, and the Great War, the War to end all wars was over.

Trying to explain this to a group of 5th graders is nearly impossible.  War has been made glamorous in Video games and dying is a temporary event.

So I always showed this Charlie Brown video, "What have we learned, Charlie Brown?"   Here is a clip of it:


No matter how many times I saw it, it gave me chills and tears.

There is a heart breaking song performed by Davey Arthur and The Fureys, called "The Green Fields of France".  Please listen to it:



I first heard this song at a live performance when we lived in Ireland.  There was a moment of absolute silence at the end of the song, before the applause.

What have we learned?

11 comments:

  1. John McDermott does a beautiful version of that song. What indeed, have we learned?

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    1. Sadly, the world repeats history time after time.

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  2. Not a lot is what I would say to Charlie Brown. Starting my day in tears here - though tears for this day, and this song are called for. There is another wonderful song 'I waa only 19' by Redgum about the Vietnam war. That makes me weep as well. Wimps of the world unite - and perhaps stop some of this destruction.

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    1. If only we could...

      The song "Waltzing Matilda" is another song, about the Australians at Galipoli. I hear it and feel the same way.

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    2. Waltzing Matilda is based on lyrics written by Banjo Patterson - and the song is probably best described as our unofficial anthem. And I suspect more people know the words as well. It was not written about Gallipoli, but is so quintessentially Australian that they would have recognised the sentiments and the slang.

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    3. You are right! Please forgive my error. There is another song about Gallipoli, and it says "...and the band played 'Waltzing Matilda'. Dang. What is the name of that song??

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    4. Nothing to forgive. Eric Bogle 'And the Band played Waltzing Matilda' - and you are right, it also is heart breaking. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG48Ftsr3OI

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  3. Doesn't seem like we learned much, as over and over again the wars come. And yeah it has be glorified like crazy.

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    1. The soldiers left in shining uniforms and external bravado. They came home in rags and covered with wounds. Their courage was real now.

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  4. On this poignant day, what have we learned? It seems, so little and man's inhumanity to man, continues. I thought I was part of that new generation that embraced love and peace. Whatever happened to those ideals....

    To a more positive and peaceful future. Perhaps we still have time to make that our legacy for our children.

    In hope, Gary


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    1. Ideals are just that--ideas that are vaulted and held up for impossible attainment. Scripture tells us that there will always be war, or rumors of war. People will cry for peace, but there will be no peace...Not sure where that comes from at this moment.

      Now i will have to search for it.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!