Peter Jackson’s WWI Footage Underscores Flaccidity Of Today’s Culture

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Can any culture raise ‘rough men’ ready to defend it against a ruthless enemy when it cannot even fix in the minds of its youth what their sex is?

Source: Peter Jackson’s WWI Footage Underscores Flaccidity Of Today’s Culture

“‘We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm,’ Winston Churchill reportedly said.

“He knew a thing or two about combat as a young man, and as the leader of a great nation about facing annihilation as an old man. If Winston could only see us now. The contrast between those young people today who stand ready to protect us and those we protect has perhaps never been more stark…

“In the span of 100 years, Britain has gone from producing men who were so eager to fight and die for their country that 16-year-olds lied about their age to enlist when the minimum age was 19, to teaching primary school boys that they can have periods just like girls and offering feminine hygiene products in boys’ bathrooms…

“Can any culture — British, American or any other — raise ‘rough men’ ready to defend it against a ruthless enemy when it cannot even fix in the minds of its developing youth what their sex is?”

A very good – and troubling – question, indeed!

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The Great Christmas Truce of 1914 | Sainsbury’s Ad | Christmas 2014

Source: 1914 | Sainsbury’s Ad | Christmas 2014

I am not normally a fan of marketing, but I love this ad, and even more, the historical episode behind it: the Great Christmas Truce of 1914, which for a few brief, shining hours, stopped one of the most horrific and destructive wars in history – certainly in European history – in its tracks. Before they were forced back to killing each other by their “superiors,” the ordinary soldiers of the British and German Armies enjoyed a brief respite from the fighting… and a brief vision of one another as fellow-humans, brothers.

If only the spirit of that moment could have somehow taken hold, been built upon, perhaps the terrible destruction and loss of the flower of European youth – the “death of a generation” – at Verdun, the Somme, and other battles, might have been prevented. And perhaps, just perhaps, the continued suffering and loss which has followed, in the last century, might also have been prevented… A heartwarming, yet heartbreaking, story.

I cry every time I watch this.

Please, God – no more brother wars.

By Order of the King – Rare British WW1 song | YouTube

Source: By Order of the King – Rare British WW1 song | YouTube

In light of the actual events of the Great War – the millions killed and millions more maimed by bullet and shell, or incapacitated by gas, the destruction of a whole generation in the trenches of Europe, and the host of unexpected consequences for Europe and the world – the optimism and upbeat tempo of this song is ironic, to say the least.

Even as much of an Anglophile and demi-monarchist as I am, I am not sure whether to shake my head with a rueful smile, or let the tears roll down my face. As I have commented on more than one occasion, and in more than one venue, that war should never have happened, and we are still reaping its bitter harvest to this day!

But the song is an interesting one, and catchy. I have a feeling I’m going to be humming the refrain for the rest of the day, at least…

Why Prince Charles Is Laying a Wreath For Queen Elizabeth This Morning for Remembrance Day at London’s Cenotaph

Wreaths Are Laid At The Cenotaph On Remembrance Sunday

Today, the royal family is marking the 100th anniversary of World War I.

Source: Why Prince Charles Is Laying a Wreath For Queen Elizabeth This Morning for Remembrance Day at London’s Cenotaph

“At 92, Queen Elizabeth is showing no sign of slowing down. Just last week, for example, she was spotted horseback riding on the grounds of Windsor Castle. But she has started to pass on some of her responsibilities to the younger members of her family.

“This morning, Prince Charles lay a wreath at London’s Cenotaph on his mother’s behalf during the national service of remembrance. It is the second year the Prince of Wales has performed the duty on Remembrance Day, which this year holds additional significance, as it falls on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.”

Treaty of Versailles | The Holocaust Encyclopedia

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https://www.slideserve.com/mikasi/woodrow-wilson-and-the-treaty-of-versailles

Source: Treaty of Versailles | The Holocaust Encyclopedia

Contrary to popular belief, Germany had entered World War One only reluctantly, and as a result of its mutual-assistance pact with Austria-Hungary. When it became obvious that the Kaiserreich could not defeat the Allies – especially after the entry of the United States, with over a million fresh troops, and in light of the “November Revolution” that resulted in Bolshevik (Marxist / Communist) takeovers of several major German cities – its representatives sought to negotiate, in good faith, a treaty to end the war.

Those negotiations were intended to be conducted on the basis of Woodrow Wilson’s “Fourteen Points,” which “called for the victorious Allies to set unselfish peace terms with the vanquished Central Powers of World War I, including freedom of the seas, the restoration of territories conquered during the war and the right to national self-determination in such contentious regions as the Balkans.”

Those reasonable hopes did not take long to be dashed: Continue reading “Treaty of Versailles | The Holocaust Encyclopedia”

Centenary of Armistice Day: 11 November, 1918-2018

Centenary-Armistice-Day-1918-2018On this day, almost at this hour – at the “eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month” – the guns of the Western Front fell silent at last, and four years of a cruel, horrific, European brother-killing war, the “Great War,” World War One, the “war to end all wars” (if only!) came to an end.

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Bled nearly dry by four years of meat-grinder warfare, a whole generation nearly annihilated, Europe was exhausted. But the arrival of more than a million fresh, able, and (for the most part) well-equipped American troops turned the tide. Now hopelessly outnumbered, its cities falling to Marxist revolution and even parts of its once-proud military in mutiny, Germany had no choice but to sue for peace. Continue reading “Centenary of Armistice Day: 11 November, 1918-2018”

100 Beautiful Colourised Photos of WW I for the 1918-2018 Centenary

“To mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, I have decided to collate 100 images I’ve colorized in tribute to the men and women who lived through the war, and those who lost their lives.”

Source: 100 Beautiful Colourised Photos of WW1 for the 1918-2018 Centenary

We are, at this posting, just three days and a little more than an hour (EST) from the Centenary of “the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month” – 11:00 a.m. on November 11th, 1911 – when after more than four years of horrifically bloody warfare which all but destroyed a generation and generated chains of events the effects of which are still being felt, the guns of the Western Front fell silent, and “the Great War,” the “war to end all wars,” was finally over.

I have mixed feelings about colorizing old pictures, but these striking photographs do, in my estimation, tend to humanize the people depicted, and lessen the gulf between their time and ours. It is too easy to forget events that happened only a decade or so ago (witness the decreasing appreciation of the events of 9/11, and their significance to the world we live in), and all the more when the events occurred a century ago.

This coming Sunday is the 11th of November: traditionally Martinmas, the Feast of St. Martin of Tours – a Roman soldier – in the calendar of the Western Church, but since 1918, commemorated somberly as Armistice Day (Remembrance Day, in the U.K.). In the U.S., that remembrance has been somewhat eclipsed by the larger context of Veterans Day, since we have a Memorial Day in the spring. But this year, on its Centennial, let us not forget the ending of a war which, far from ending all wars, ended up sparking – directly or indirectly – most of the wars since.

“Poppies are for remembrance.” Let us remember.

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