The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Insight -

As we com­mem­o­rate the end of the First World War, we should re­mem­ber the hu­man folly that pro­duced it. Alliances were made. An­i­mosi­ties were ma­nip­u­lated. Ar­ma­ments were man­u­fac­tured. An arch­duke was mur­dered. Armies marched. Atroc­i­ties mounted. And moral­ity suc­cumbed to the ab­sur­di­ties of war.

In hind­sight, it is easy to think that this could have been avoided. But each gen­er­a­tion falls vic­tim to what Wil­fred Owen called “the old lie” of war and its des­per­ate glo­ries. Owen wit­nessed hor­ror in the trenches. He wrote po­etry about gas and death and the lies of war.

In one of his po­ems, “The End,” Owen laments the bod­ies of young men bro­ken by war. They will never be re­newed. The empty veins of youth will never be re­filled. The voice of mother earth cries out. “My fiery heart sinks, aching,” she says. “Mine an­cient scars shall not be glo­ri­fied; nor my ti­tanic tears the seas be dried.”

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