Of poppies and Flanders fields

Covent-Garden-memorial-croppedThe periodic sales of poppies by veterans and veterans auxiliaries is serious business to me.

I would need to do some research to find a warrior in my clan who did not survive the battlefield, but reading the last volume of Edmund Morris’ trilogy on Theodore Roosevelt provided me an overwhelming awareness of the mechanized death and destruction of World War I.

In college, my math professor Fred Hess, always reminded us of the importance of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The repercussions of World War I are still being felt, in more than just the unexploded ordinance that is routinely pulled from farmland.

The Islamic caliphate ended with the first world war, and there are many factions eager to re-establish its domain.

Our beliefs about the humane use of weapons reflect the horrors of World War I, and it is easy to see that the modern era is not the first to have issues with post traumatic stress.

I buy a poppy, whenever they are offered. To me it represents the devotion of our fighting personnel, the blessed nature of those in my family who have fought and returned, and the ideal that some day we may move beyond wholesale slaughter.

I don’t expect wars and rumors of wars to end in my lifetime, but I hope that my loved ones will always be able to live in a free and vibrant America.

I would give my life for that ideal, and I appreciate those who already made the greatest sacrifice.

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