Saturday, November 11, 2006

War – what is it good for?

Absolutely nothing is the answer in the song.

Today is Remembrance Day, or Armistice Day, a National Holiday in France, which remembers the end of the First World War on a very poetically set time and date of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1918 after about 20 million people died over a period of four years.

I fall short, just, of calling myself a pacifist but I am definitely anti-war. It is pointless; no lessons have ever been learned so why continue the killing? I have visited many of the war graves of the 1st and 2nd World War that patchwork the country side of northern France and Belgium. On this day I try and urge politicians and would be war mongers to visit these places where in the silence former so called enemies lie peacefully without argument.

On the 11th November 2004 my wife Ghislaine and I visited the Chemin des Dames, 80 kilometers of East of Paris. One of the killing grounds of WW1, this image is of the German War Cemetery from the Second World War at Le Fort de la Malmasion. It is case of when wars get mixed up, or at least the dead!! There are over 11000 German dead laid to rest here which is in front of an area that was heavily fought over in the First World War.

In the UK Remembrance Day is marked by the wearing of a poppy. A nice story on the BBC website of how this began can be found here: Wearing a Poppy

If you would like to see a larger image of the above image go here: large image of the WW2 cemetery at Le Fort de la Malmasion , or if you would like to view a slide show of images taken at the French and German WW1 cemetery at Cerny en Laonnois click here: Chemin des Dames

5 comments:

Lisi said...

Wilf, amazing shot, I'm stunned and the colors are great, plus your commentary, it's a great post!

Celine said...

What a beautifully captured image. I've added it as a fave on Flickr. Thank you for the photo and for the words you've written.

Kate said...

Sobering photo and thoughtful narrative.

Nathalie said...

What an incredible photo. Remarkably beautiful and so frightening at the same time! Thanks for that...

Kris said...

tidy, green..sad place but a good photo!