LEST WE FORGET


I am extremely grateful to the wonderful Val Portelli for allowing me to publish her poignant tales.

When will we ever learn?

1914-1918 Dear Mum So here we are. Who would ever have imagined the assassination of an Austrian duke would have spread to the current madness with every major power involved in the war to end all wars. America, Japan, and Russia crossing swords with Germany, and the Ottoman Empire using the excuse to settle old scores. In a lot of ways it’s not the enemy we’re fighting that we fear the most, but the rats and disease in the trenches that sap our spirit and make life hard. Despite all the hardship the glorious display of the poppy fields bring back happier memories. I guess we have to do our duty and pray that one day sanity will be resumed. What a party we’ll have then eh? Your loving son.

1939-1945 Dear Mum After the last lot they said it would never happen again but here we are. The same powers swapping and changing sides to suit their own agendas. It’s not the enemy we face that causes the most concern but the threat of chemical warfare, those unseen gases that can cause a horrible death. I’ve heard that the poppy can remain buried in mud for years and bloom into life when it is most needed; I think we need it now. I guess we have to do our duty and pray that one day sanity will be resumed. What a party we’ll have then eh? Your loving son.

2016 – Dear Mum With the collapse of all communication I’m not even sure if you’ll get this message. You’d think with the power of modern technology we would have been forewarned that the same supremos from 100 years ago were still bickering and conducting their power struggles. We can’t even identify the enemy we are facing. Social media has made us distrust our own instincts and the boundaries between friend and foe are no longer clear. They’re even trying to ban wearing the poppy as a symbol of remembrance. How crazy is that. All we can do is the best we can and pray that one day sanity will be resumed. Let’s hope we survive to enjoy that party eh. Your loving son.

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© 2013 by SRH