Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I usually struggle to find things to write about, but today I have more of a problem with what not to use. I have always been fascinated by war, not uncommon for a boy whose toys were mostly solders or guns and who read war stories or watched war film for entertainment. As I have got older I came to see both the horror and the glory of war, old soldiers will tell you there is no glory in war, but how else can you describe the examples of courage and selflessness displayed by individual soldiers and units on all side and in all conflicts. Over the years I have read 100s of first hand accounts of combat from all the major wars of the last century, and in amidst the horror and death there are always moments of bravery and humour as mans sprit tries to offset all the negatives that surround him. War in all its forms is a failure of reason and shows us at our worst, but in war we can also find our best, the freedoms we now have and hold so cheaply, are soaked in the blood of our fallen. As Wellington so rightly said “Nothing except a battle lost can be half as melancholy as a battle won.”
The picture today is of Caz’s grand dads medals, these are not special medals, there are none here issued for individual acts of courage, but they represent 5 years of combat from Africa to D-day, through France and into Germany, with nearly every day offering the chance of it being his last, I don’t think that we can imagine 5 years of that, never knowing when or how it will end. After the war he came home and started a new life, bringing up his children and doing his job and living to a grand old age. These aren’t special medals, but they belong to a special man, the sort of hero that will never be featured in a film or book but gave the world his life for as long as it took so that we could have ours in peace and freedom.

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Lisa B said...

Great post Brett. My grandad was in North Africa too, then Italy towards the end and when the war ended.

Daisy said...

Really good to remember people like this at least once every year. They really don't make them like that any more do they? So many incredible stories, so much to be thankful for.

aims said...

Bless him and all of those who gave their lives and their time so that we could have the freedom to live as we want.

My father and uncles fought in WW11 and most of them came home. It changed them I heard. Can you blame them?

david mcmahon said...

Yes, Brett, they are special. And so is this post.

babooshka said...

It's all been said and yes each and everyone special.

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully moving post.
There was a tory in the papers yesterday about a piece of vermin who robbed and beat senseless a man of eighty six who was disturbed in the night of Memorial day. One wonders whether this ugly specimin would have fought for his country.

Carol said...

Very very beautiful...both your post, and the photos.

Louise said...

Excellent post! (over from authorblog).

I love this phrase: "freedoms we now have and hold so cheaply, are soaked in the blood of our fallen." How very, very true.

The photo is also wonderful. And to me it doesn't matter what the medals are for, but that the person was there and did something for the rest of us.

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