World War One ended 87 years ago today. The only way to honour the dead would have been to make sure it never happened again. Instead those who send more soldiers to more wars wear poppies, and erect tombs to unknown soldiers.
Last year Vincent O'Sullivan was comissioned to write a poem about World War One here's the first verse:
The figure at the paddock’s edge,Which is a compelling argument against state funding of the arts if ever I saw one.
The shadow in the football team,
The memory beside the hedge,
The notes behind a song that seem
Another song, a different dream –
The past we harvest that was yours,
The present that you gave for ours.
It perpetuates the greatest, and most dangerous, myth of World War One: that there was any purpose to that four year long blood-bath.
The boys who were sent to war didn't make a sacrifice, which implies they died for something. They were sacrificed.