Drawing by Otto Dix at Peronne Museum
Yesterday and today we have been in the heart of the Somme. It is hard to comprehend the scale of lives lost in this small area of France. Comprehension requires rationality and for this War I can find none. If the First World War is to be remembered it must be remembered for it’s horror and utter senselessness. If Remembrance day was really about reminding us of the horrors of this war so that we would avoid all future conflicts then I would revere the day more than any other.
Too often though we get it all mixed and look for heros and victories in hopes of somehow justifying individual and collective loses.
Vimy ridge was an important bump of land that the Canadians pushed the Germans off of, but at what cost? And for what purpose? That this battle has now become so deeply woven into the fabric of our country’s nationalist mythology, hungry for a military victory; is disrespectful of the 3600 Canadians who died there.
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