“Why did they suffer, those millions of men?”

I think I’m definitely a pacifist now. Ditch that plan of learning a martial art. Words to pay attention to by Harry Patch, last survivor of the Battle of Passchendaele, 1917, during which an average of 5,000 men were killed or wounded every day for a few miles of land:

I fell in a trench. There was a fella there. He must have been about our age. He was ripped shoulder to waist with shrapnel. I held his hand for the last 60 seconds of his life. He only said one word: ‘Mother’. I didn’t see her, but she was there. No doubt about it. He passed from this life into the next, and it felt as if I was in God’s presence.

I’ve never got over it. You never forget it. Never.


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