November 13, 2011

Remembrance Sunday

From Derek Jarman’s film of Britten’s “War Requiem”.

Maybe it’s because my maternal grandmother died in the autumn of 1918. Or maybe it’s the set of cast-metal doughboys (my Uncle Mont’s toys?) I played with as a child. But the Great War has always felt closer to me than that other world war that ended a decade before I was born.

I posted this, inspired by the “War Requiem,” my first year as a flocker.

And I began to post remembrances each year thereafter.


Eleven Eleven (Martinmas)

Some Mother’s Son | The Kinks

Some shell cases on the roadside in the front area, the contents of which have been despatched over into the German lines.


  1. Sheila Ryan on November 13th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Also, Cooper Renner’s remembrance of Eric Bogle’s “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda,” noted in connection with one of my annual Remembrance posts.

  2. Rick Neece on November 13th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Sad and beautiful, Sheila. Thank you.

    We visited the WWI memorial, here in KC. We did not go inside. I’ve never been inside. When you visit next time, we will.

  3. Sheila Ryan on November 13th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Yes, Rick.By the bye, today I’ve been tipped to a few more good books to read (both fiction and non-fiction) inspired by the Great War.

  4. Carole Corlew on November 13th, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Thousands and thousands every single day, left in the mud, only to start all over. All those mothers’ sons. It’s too much.

  5. Sheila Ryan on November 13th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I can read a higher meaning into some of the fights that have been fought — and some of the consequent deaths. But not the worse-than-pointless slaughter of 1914-1918. Nor the current, ongoing what-have-you in Afghanistan.

  6. Carole Corlew on November 13th, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    A few years ago, I figured out Mr. B. wanted me to tell him that “All Quiet on the Western Front” was a big exaggeration. You know, fiction that really was fiction. He kept talking and talking, about Paul, about the confrontation with the French soldier, about Kat, and I knew he wasn’t saying something. I couldn’t give him what he wanted. And I thought then “this is too hard.” But knew it was too late to resign. I think that’s why they got me the iphone. I think there’s a tracking device in it.

  7. Sheila Ryan on November 13th, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Oh, Lor’. I recall telling an eight-year-old girl, as gently as I could, that what she had seen on TV about a place called Buchenwald was not a made-up story. It was hard to talk about much of anything the following days.

  8. Deron Bauman on November 13th, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    History is a pretty consistent antidote to self-help aphorisms.

  9. Sheila Ryan on November 13th, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    So too true, as a friend of a friend was wont to say.

  10. Rick Neece on November 13th, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Cece, I love it Mr. B talks to you, even when you can’t give him much in rejoinder.

  11. Carole Corlew on November 14th, 2011 at 7:50 am

    “In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row…”

    Rick, the Iowan was always on travel, Mr. B. was into sports, and I was the driver. I have the worst sense of direction in the world so we spent more time lost on roads up and down the East Coast than not. Mr. B. talked to calm his nerves, then to pass the time, I think. The talking fell way off a couple of years ago, at 16. But now and then we’ll be in the car and he’ll relax and say, “Hey mom, guess what….” and we’re back in the warm, glowing egg again.

    If you think about it, teenagers have a lot in common with cats. It’s good to ignore them a little bit.