Over at The Carrot Ranch Community I stumbled upon an article about cemeteries. It is a very well written article and suggests, I think, that cemeteries are a treasure trove of human history, full of stories from our past. This may be very true in some cases, but I have always been struck by the notion that they rarely tell the full story and tend to gloss over the less palatable realities.
Nowhere does this notion come to mind more than in military cemeteries – where the great myth of war heroics is perpetuated.
My response to the lovely people at Carrot Ranch was, therefore, a bit negative. Because cemeteries, military or otherwise, have always struck me as outdoor museums of human folly.
This is what I had to say …
A call to arms. Another land
Ideals I did not understand
Buried story. Hidden truth
Ideals are not bullet proof
A fallen hero? Fallen son
Lost to what could not be won
An epitaph to bold and brave
Here etched in stone upon my grave
Words of praise, of noble fight
Words that I would never write
Don’t search through words you’ve heard before
These words were not worth fighting for
Don’t search these graves. Don’t ask the dead
Search within your souls instead
No heroes here. Please move along
Go back to where you all came from
There is no honour, only fear
Death is the only message here
I was a soldier, was a fool
Do you see honour? More fool you.