Imagine a boy, not much older than fifteen, sitting in the cold in a field that he doesn’t know, a terrain he doesn’t recognise. Imagine him feeling like he just cant get warm; the dampness making his skin feel like is crawling and the icy wind not doing much to help the fingers of freezing that send a chill through his bones. Imagine the bruise of darkness that surrounds him as the wind whips through the tunnels that he finds himself in.
Now imagine the sound of gun fire in the distance, and think of the fear that he must feel, so far away from the comfort of home, such a stark change from his daily life and what he is used to.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Imagine he is your son, your brother, your father. He might be a faceless stranger to you right now, but that boy never made it to be a man, never saw through his life, never sat in a chair and looked out at the world passing by as his daughter straightened his blanket over his knees and discussed her day with him.
Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.
John F. Kennedy
That boy gave his future for our liberty. It might not seem much to you now as you go about your day, quickly checking emails or making a shopping list, but that boy, and so many others like him, gave their lives for us. They fought a war that wasn’t theirs, for a life they would never see. They were the epitome of courage and bravery, and we have them to thank for the rich and colourful lives we lead. Wherever you are, you have freedom, and we have that scared little boy to thank for that.
Take the time today to spare a thought for the men and boys who left the comfort of their homes for the unknown, to let us live our lives in the world wars, and hope for a day where our children ask “What is war?”
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
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