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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Service Without Question

Here we are in the month of September relishing the splendid changes within nature's landscapes. The crispness of the air infiltrates our nostrils while visions of majestic changes in color mesmerize our senses. Yet, it has not always been this way during the autumnal season. Nor is it so pleasant for all everywhere at this time.

There have always been times of war. Biblical war. Civil war. World war. Cold war. Unnecessary war. War is WAR! War is hell. So many lives taken. Young. Old. Age knows no boundaries when it comes to war. The visions of war are woven with bloody images and broken bone. Within battlefields reside ghosts of our ancestry. 

Today let's embrace the past and take a look at the first world war...


The battle at Passchendaele
World War I (WWI), a global war centered in Europe, began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. Four years of fighting resulted in over one million deaths and 20 times that many soldiers with severe injuries.  

World War I took place on foreign soil with America being drawn into its midst in 1917. American losses48,000 killed in battle, 56,000 lost to disease seemed trifling compared to the staggering costs paid by other countries.

“The horror of it all kept me awake for weeks, nor has the awfulness of it all deserted me, but at first it seemed a horrid dream.”
~Anonymous


The Great War: WWI



With war in Europe, all eyes and ears remained keenly aware of its presence and acutely alert to its impact on the United States. Courage and allegiance to America remained stalwart in the face of imminent danger; battles were won and lost on foreign soil.


Landscapes collapsed under the brutality of war
Relinquishing timeless relics unto life’s plight
Variegated shades of crimson covered the hillsides
Capturing lifelessness within dawn’s early light

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The encumbrance of blight, life in death
 Shrouded fields once lush from flowing streams
Spoils and scars saddled the countryside
While endless flames blazed even in dreams


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Night became bright as day
As flashes riveted across a star-shelled sky
Blood curdling sights and sounds
Echoed within each and every battle cry


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One water bottle for forty men
Such anguish one could not ignore
The ghastly stench of death and dying
One could only gravely abhor


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Anticipation of life’s last breath
Made even the brightest day pale
Yet in the midst of such bleak darkness
Hopes of peace nonetheless prevailed


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Singing and whistling heard from the trenches
Authenticated life still truly existed
Despite the cold, hunger and suffering
Never once was the question why I enlisted
 
  ©2013 Awakenings
 Sharla Lee Shults

“A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards.”
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919)