In Flanders Fields
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
We are the Dead. Short days ago
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
John McCrae -Canadian
Records tell of specific campaigns and battles and of many individual acts of courage which turned the tide of war. They note the skilful strategies and the brilliant leadership. All these must be remembered. But other aspects of war must also be included in our histories. With every battle over the centuries, extremes of temperature, mud, mutilation, mind-numbing fatigue, fear and death were daily realities. While most of us have not experienced these hardships we can try to understand what the combatants experienced and learn from those who gave their lives and those survivors.
From all of these records of wars, the observations of the individuals who took part stand out as reminders of the true nature of conflict. War has many faces but few of them are pleasant. Through knowledge of the realities, we may work more diligently to prevent them from happening again