The roar and clamor of cacophonous hell ceased for some but certainly not for all. The terror ended and the fear abated but many still remained trapped in that nightmare.
There were tears of joy and tears of relief but there were tears of calamity unceasing as well. And some came home while others remained and many of them did both. Dwelling here and now and there and then until their final breath.
And all the parades and all the pride and the monuments built. Will never wash away the sins we committed against ourselves.
And those who fought and fell and those who returned in pieces or in peace.
We will remember them.
We will always remember them.
And I will remember those who said no, I will not join in this insanity. The pacifists and conscientious objectors. The mutineers the deserters and the rebels and the anarchists. Those who protested and those who disobeyed.
Those who said to the devil with your governments and nations and empires and to hell with your battle flags and banners. Those who said let presidents and prime ministers and kings fight their own fights.
To those who would not join in the ghastly absurdity of pointless useless slaughter.
Those who said fuck you to the generals and the white feathers. Those who said I will not murder for your words and your coloured rags and your crown.
I will remember them too.
If we’d listened to them instead of the rich men who pull the strings, we would not have to remember anything but how lucky we are to be alive.
Lest we forget.
Any of it. What we want to remember and what we don’t.