Tuesday, December 01, 2009

They will not grow old

As I write this a young man from the village I grew up in is being buried. He was in Afghanistan for 2 weeks before he was shot. We are told the armour he had was suitable, but we know he was waiting for the new stuff that was meant to be there before he arrived.  I am not political, I don’t know why, and perhaps that makes me so, but there is nothing quite like the death of a young man to bring home the vileness of the war. He walked the streets I walked, read the books I read, was taught by the same teachers who taught me, played on the same swings, shopped in the same shops. A boy when I left,  a man when he died and now he grows old no more.  The streets will never feel his feet, the air will never hear his laughter but by God I am proud. I have no right to be proud of him, he was not mine; but he was one of ours.   As I write this, I am in the tea rooms warming my hands on a cup of tea eating soup and enjoying the English soil beneath my feet. Given to me by young men and young women.  May our boys who gave their lives rest in peace and rise in glory.

I don’t want to be proud of our young man as I think of his tomb, I would like to shake his hand and thank him – but it is too late.

Join the British Legion. “We help serving and ex-Service personnel and their families. Not just those who fought in the two World Wars, but also those involved in the many conflicts since 1945 and those still fighting today. “

18 Comments:

Blogger WeepingCross said...

I'm a British Legion member. I used to think you had to be an ex-member of the Forces to join, but no, anyone can sign up.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Halfie said...

Eloquently put, Bones.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Heth said...

Brought tears to my eyes reading that, our son is set to go there in April. Can't really get my head round it yet, how I will feel as it gets closer. Tis the only thing in everyday life that brings tears to my eyes. The waste, the loss, the utmost respect...

H

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew was a wonderful lad, and will be greatly missed, so hard for the village so near to home the horrors of war, and the pain of loss that parents have to endure- How we need to rpay mnore for our soldiers going out to such barbaric places, Heth i will be praying for your son,


Free2live

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oopos typo- rpay=pray mnor=more

6:32 PM  
Blogger Heth said...

Free2live,

Thank you so much, as a mum I've discovered there's different "stages" I've gone thru. First it was anger, (getting involved in the politics of it all). That's all gone now,, I have finally accepted that no amount of protest makes any difference & what will be will be.
He'll be here for Christmas so we'll make the most of it!
My heart goes out to Andrew's family like only a soldiers mum can...

H

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heth- so hard for a mum.

Free2live

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Jayne said...

why be proud of a person who chose to fight?
would you be proud of a person who joined a fight on the street and got killed?
we should be proud of each person who does NOT fight. If the world took this view there would be no stupid killings, no crying over people who choose to fight, subsequently dying and I will not celebrate the loss of yet another human lamb to the slaughter in more pointless fighting over what?

what are they fighting over?

we are all given life by the planet, we live on it, it feeds us, allows us amazing simple pleasures in life, but Humans, they choose to fight and make their own lives miserable.

brilliant.
a work of genius.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Heth said...

Jayne please don't forget that without the soldier you would have no freedom. Including the right to the free speech you enjoy.

Thousands of soldiers past & present have laid down their lives for you & me. I feel sorry for you that you can't appreciate & honour that.

Remember this:
"It is the soldier, not the reporter,who has given us Freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
who has given us Freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organiser, who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, who serves beneath the Flag,
Who salutes the Flag,
Whose coffin is draped in the Flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the Flag,
It is the soldier, not the politician, who has given his blood, his body, his life."

You my dear seem to be in what is now a minority of protesters without respect, but don't forget you can only do THAT because of the soldier, even if it is slagging them off....

2:45 PM  
Blogger Chrispy said...

just for you jayne...

if you choose to have this view then that fine... here is the problem though... you cannot make everyone happy at once!!! i am proud of the veterans of WWI and WWII... why.. because they bought my freedom today... if it was not for the bravery, courage, and sheer determination of those men then i would be born into slavery!!! as would most of the population now!!!

in the battle of Britain there were pilots flying up into combat conditions with less than 10 hours flight experience!!!

would you do that??? to save your country??? keep your freedom??? have a right to say the stupidest things like that??? these young men are out there, fighting there to stop it being brought to our doorsteps!!!

maybe you should rethink why we have armed forces for this country... maybe Gordon brown should think about what he is doing to this country.... this is Great Britain... we are a free country... we are not under regime... we are under democracy!!!

the day you fight to save this country, your freedom, your democracy, is the day you can complain about these brave, courageous and determined young men and women!

Chris

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Jayne said...

why is everyone under the impression soldiers are brave?

Stupid more like.

why go to "save" a country and give me my "freedom" when it wouldnt need saving or free-ing if there wasnt flippin stupid soldiers on the otherside trying to take it away. I dont cry for them, why should I cry for the same kind of humans over here.. doing the same thing in reverse?

cant you see it from both sides?
the governments are only as strong as the silly footsoldiers that carry out their wishes.
Saddam was NOTHING without his army. Osama is nothing without his followers.

cant you see the complete futility of the greed of humanity? Its pure greed and stupidity that leads us to kill each other.

its humans (like us) that lead other humans to go out there and be "brave" and whatever you want to call them joining a bun fight over something that shouldnt be fought over.

how can I salute people who are, when it comes right down to it, a thug amongst thugs. Just because they fly a flag of a piece of land I happen to live on, doesnt mean I own this land.

It is not MY country, I dont own it. It owns me.
give a person a title, it elevates them in the minds of other people.

how dare I speak against war? how dare I speak against people becoming soldiers to fight over greed and power.

Id personally like a nice big natural disaster to wipe this scummy, all consuming, greedy, pure evil human race of the face of the planet. And take me with it please because I cant bare the sight of all this war, power greed and consumption.

and anyone who expresses the phrase "and you my dear" has a superiority complex. get off your box and come back to the earth level will you.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Heth said...

Quote from you:

"Id personally like a nice big natural disaster to wipe this scummy, all consuming, greedy, pure evil human race of the face of the planet. And take me with it please"

At first I thought you were trying to promote some kind of impossible peaceful planet, but in fact you've just contrdicted yourself on a grand scale.

4 things:
If you're not happy with the democratic system in this country then go live somewhere else...

Your comments don't belong on this post, create your own blog & rant to your hearts content...

Posting anonymously infers cowardice...

May I suggest you find a good psychiatrist?

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Jayne said...

Im still a boater, sold my boat and am buying another at the moment, but living on a barge for a little while, Im not annonymous. I am the outspoken and not afraid to say what I think, Jayne, previously of Honey Ryder. with a blog now being turned bookish and commencing a new boating life blog soon.
I stand up for pacifist thoughts, freedom of speech, freedom of peace and the teachings of Ghandi. I resepct different cultures, different ways of thinking and different ideas of what people want out of life. I dont respect anyone who will kill. A soldier is a trained killer. Any millitary person is a person who chose to one day, kill another human being as part of their job, most likely without asking the question, why? they are trained to do as they are told, do what is "right for their country" but what is right for humanity? If we can think past our noses, think that our country, this section of land we inhabit is the same earth as everyone else lives on. no boundaries, no territorial rights. we are a rampantly breeding species on a planet. (and doing a good job of destroying a lot of it)

I can't uphold in any way at all, any kind of justification for war, fighting or anything else physically aggressive. It is not needed in a well educated society.

I fight for my rights through peaceful protest. If Everyone protested against what they dont like through thoughtful and peaceful means... then there would be no soldiers and only a handful of evil doers out there who would be powerless to do anything because all the fighters... fight with peace not with weapons.

the act to do nothing is just as powerful as the act of violence.
Imagine if everyone out there in Afganistan or other war torn areas decided, today we will sit down and talk. we wont agree on many things, we will respect each others differences and live in peace. Killing each other is a futile excersise and absolutely nothing good comes from it.

the problem is, this will not happen in my lifetime, So i think the best way to stop all this nonsense, is a nice big natural disaster (not really a distaster, but more of an earth cleansing itself)

I havent contradicted myself, I consider myself as a part of this dreadful society. Im trying to find my way out. but I deserve to die along with everyone else. I am no better than anyone else. Are you?

no amount of money or training could prepare me to take a human life though.

Sorry Bones for hijacking your blog, but i do like a good lively debate.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Jayne said...

Im still a boater, sold my boat and am buying another at the moment, but living on a barge for a little while, Im not annonymous. I am the outspoken and not afraid to say what I think, Jayne, previously of Honey Ryder. with a blog now being turned bookish and commencing a new boating life blog soon.
I stand up for pacifist thoughts, freedom of speech, freedom of peace and the teachings of Ghandi. I resepct different cultures, different ways of thinking and different ideas of what people want out of life. I dont respect anyone who will kill. A soldier is a trained killer. Any millitary person is a person who chose to one day, kill another human being as part of their job, most likely without asking the question, why? they are trained to do as they are told, do what is "right for their country" but what is right for humanity? If we can think past our noses, think that our country, this section of land we inhabit is the same earth as everyone else lives on. no boundaries, no territorial rights. we are a rampantly breeding species on a planet. (and doing a good job of destroying a lot of it)

I can't uphold in any way at all, any kind of justification for war, fighting or anything else physically aggressive. It is not needed in a well educated society.

I fight for my rights through peaceful protest. If Everyone protested against what they dont like through thoughtful and peaceful means... then there would be no soldiers and only a handful of evil doers out there who would be powerless to do anything because all the fighters... fight with peace not with weapons.

the act to do nothing is just as powerful as the act of violence.
Imagine if everyone out there in Afganistan or other war torn areas decided, today we will sit down and talk. we wont agree on many things, we will respect each others differences and live in peace. Killing each other is a futile excersise and absolutely nothing good comes from it.

the problem is, this will not happen in my lifetime, So i think the best way to stop all this nonsense, is a nice big natural disaster (not really a distaster, but more of an earth cleansing itself)

I havent contradicted myself, I consider myself as a part of this dreadful society. Im trying to find my way out. but I deserve to die along with everyone else. I am no better than anyone else. Are you?

no amount of money or training could prepare me to take a human life though.

Sorry Bones for hijacking your blog, but i do like a good lively debate.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Heth said...

No, I don't consider myself to be better than anyone else at all, I'm just an ordinary gal with a daft sense of humour built in. (Altho it's not been visible here because of the subject matter).

It comes as somewhat of a relief to find out that you're not some kind of dangerous fanatic. Maybe your words came across as aggressive because you were angry?

I can see your point, but unfortunately your good intentions fall on deaf ears as far as politicians are concerned. And there's too much corruption for dialogue.

I think we should just agree to disagree, you're right, this is hijacking Bones's blog. If you want to continue this as a discussion please email me, it's on my blog. I'd like to know more about your blog, I took a look at the Honey Rider blog which ended when you sold the boat...
Would be nice to know where you're at now...

H

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Stephen John Russell said...

Jayne you said "I fight for my rights through peaceful protest. If Everyone protested against what they dont like through thoughtful and peaceful means... then there would be no soldiers and only a handful of evil doers out there who would be powerless to do anything because all the fighters... fight with peace not with weapons."

Evil will suceed if we do not take up arms.

The only reason you have rights is because someone laid down their life for your rights. You speak out against the war because someone laid down their life so you can. If you want to understand why we are at war I suggest you take a trip to some where like Saudi where you will not be allowed to drive. You will wear black from head to foot. You will not be allowed to be seen in the street with a man who is not your husband. Kissing in public ( a peck on the cheek) gets you deported and your passport stamped 'PROSTITUTE' in big red letters.

You simply will not be in conversations with arab men. Your children can be married off to some old geezer when they are eight. The fact that you are a westerner means nothing. You have the right to breathe as long as an Arab man says thats alright. Where you will be lied to cheated and robbed and no one will give a damn. Where if you go out alone at night and get attacked any man can say 'well she was asking for it' All these things are a reality for countless millions of women acros the globe. Thats like this globe, the one we are on, not the fairy tale place you seem to live in. We are lucky we have the right to say anything we like, You have said your piece I have said mine. I am one of the people that stood on the line. I was there protecting your rights. I don’t ask thanks for that, but I do ask that you now stop. Please don't let me think that I wasted my life. I have enough problems without feeling pointless.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Heth said...

Sounds like you deserve a lot of resepect Stephen, well said...

La La land doesn't exist & never will

H

10:39 AM  
Blogger Jill and Graham said...

We who have served our country do so that all may speak their mind, no matter what their views.
If everyone held the same high moral ground there would be no room for discussion or debate.
Long may we all hold different outlooks and opinions, life would be very dull if we were all the same.
Merry Christmas Bones.

8:30 PM  

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