I didn’t want to miss the annual remembrance silence yesterday morning, which falls at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month every year, so I set myself an alarm to bring me back out of the dreamworld of web-coding and bug-fixing in time.
There was no official gathering to mark the observance (I’ll have that opportunity tomorrow morning at church) so I spent a little time in silence and then looked up Wilfred Owen’s poem, Dulce et Decorum Est to finish my meditation.
It’s been some time since I last read it but it came back fresher and more powerful than ever; poignant and disturbing, in the way that we should consciously seek to disturb ourselves from time to time. The First World War conspicuously failed to end all wars. Somewhere, there’s a soldier representing my nation, who’s point a gun at people who would happily kill me and at people who would happily become my trusted friends; I hope some of the generals and politicians who direct those soldiers will take some time in this season to re-read Owen and his peers and become suitably disturbed themselves!