To all those who have died, and continue to do so, to keep us safe from tyranny and oppression…
I Do Not Know Your Name
I do not know your name, but I know you died
I do not know from where you came, but I know you died
Your uniform, branch of service, it matters not to me
Whether Volunteer or Conscript, or how it came to be
That politicians’ failures, or some power-mad ambition
Brought you too soon to your death, in the name of any nation
You saw, you felt, you knew full well, as friend and foe were taken
By bloody death, that your life too, was forfeit and forsaken
Yet on you went and fought and died, in your close and private hell
For Mate or Pal or Regiment and memories never to tell
It was for each other, through shot and shell, the madness you endured
Side by side, through wound and pain, and comradeship assured
No family ties, or bloodline link, could match that bond of friend
Who shared the horror and kept on going, at last until the end
We cannot know, we were not there, it’s beyond our comprehension
To know the toll that battle brings, of resolute intention
To carry on, day by day, for all you loved and hoped for
To live in peace a happy life, away from bloody war
For far too many, no long life ahead, free of struggle and pain and the gun
And we must remember the price that was paid, by each and every one
Regardless of views, opinions aside, no matter how each of us sees it
They were there and I cannot forget, even though I did not live it
I do not know your name, but I know you died
I do not know from where you came, but I know you died.
– Kenny Martin
Today is the day where we celebrate the official ending of the Second World War. It was on this day, 1945, that the Germans signed the official, unconditional surrender.
Have we learnt anything? Not so long before the outbreak of WW2, we had concluded WW1 – costing the lives of millions on both sides.
“The War To End All Wars”, they said.
But it didn’t work out that way, did it?
And as humanity, it seems that we are unable to break away from the habit of war – one that is almost as old as mankind.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could learn to live in harmony with each other, tolerating differences? But so long as there is greed and the desire for power in our hearts, there will never be an end to all wars.
Let’s take today, though, to remember the ultimate sacrifice that so many made in the name of freedom, ridding Europe and the world of tyranny – at least for a little while.
I’ll start by saying that I am fully in support of free speech. Everyone, as far as I am concerned, has the right to have an opinion, and express that opinion. But with free speech comes responsibility, and it is all too easy for some to use this right to deliberately hurt others.
Having said that, I also believe that being offended is most certainly not an excuse to shoot someone! I loath what is going on in the world at the moment – thugs and criminals masquerading as holy men and using their own warped translations of religion to slaughter the innocent. Taking advantage of the faith of young men and women and turning these into unthinking killers. Sent to murder not only innocent people in the Middle East, but also in the countries of the West.
What I don’t understand is why the organisers of the cartoon of Muhammad event in Texas ever thought that this was appropriate. Have these people now openly declared war on Islam in their state? Was this event set up deliberately to incite an attack?
I don’t know the answers. But the way I see it is that there are a lot of peace loving Muslims who also loath the acts of fundamentalists pretending to represent them. Organising an event like this, surely with the full knowledge of how offensive to Muslims this is, is pretty irresponsible. Religious tolerance implies respect.
Let’s work to eliminate the extremists and killers, folks. Not drive wedges through society.
1818 Karl Marx (philosopher and author if The Communist Manifesto & Das Kapital)
Napoleon Bonaparte (Emperor of France, dies on St Helena in exile)
On This Day:
1944 Ghandi is released from prison
Have a good Tuesday, 5th May!
I prefer the gorgeous freedom,
And I fly to lands of grace,
Where in wide and clear meadows
All is good, as dreams, and blest.
Here they rice: the clover clear,
And corn-flower’s gentle lace,
And the rustle is always here:
“Ears are leaning… Take your ways!”
In this immense sea of fair,
Only one of blades reclines.
You don’t see in misty air,
I’d seen it!It will be mine!
– Alexandr Blok
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
– William Ernest Henley
I have a dilemma…
My nature is one of non violence, and I cannot, in my heart, reconcile myself with the concept of capital punishment.
I hold human life in too high esteem, and question the right of one human being to make the cold blooded decision to take the life of another.
And I wonder at how anybody could actually find it in themselves to actually aim the gun, flick the switch etc to take the life of another.
The people who were executed in Indonesia yesterday knew what they were risking when they made the choice to commit their crime.
They knew the risks, and perhaps the rewards were therefore so high that they decided to take on those risks.
More importantly, what right do those of us who are not citizens of Indonesia have to condemn the laws of another sovereign nation?
From what I have read, the people of Indonesia support the death penalty, and it is, after all, their country.
So I suppose I’ve sort of solved my dilemma.
Tragic as it is – a horror for not only those executed – but also for their friends and family, I can only pass on my deepest sympathy.
I cannot join the outcry against the Indonesian authorities.
The ultimate objective of the death penalty is to deter other people from doing the same thing.
I can only hope that somewhere, someone has changed their minds about risking their own lives, and the misery of their loved ones – so that the deaths have not been for nothing.