Saturday, July 25, 2009

Measures of time and distance 2: Peace in our time?

A recollection:

Years gone by, as darkness set in, Malcolm and His Lady pulled into a motel, north of the 101 Ventura Freeway in north Los Angeles. Showered and pizza-ed, with a thirst, they ventured into a local bar in Van Nuys. The ambiance, by a long way, was not the most pleasant: needs must when the demon drink drives.

Once inside, Malcolm and His Lady recognised they were in a Vets' bar: the walls were covered with memorabilia. Not just any Vets: Vietnam Vets.

The tight group around the bar itself included a wheelchair. This was just before Gary Sinise made the point in Forrest Gump.

At that time, these were, very much, the forgotten men. The alienation, the hostility and the distrust were palpable. It was not a happy place into which to venture. It was not the most enjoyable drink of Malcolm's life.

Out of that, Malcolm made a re-appraisal and discovered a new sympathy.

A thought:

Malcolm has just heard his daughter, the Pert Young Piece, remark on the death of Harry Patch, the last survivor of Passchendaele. May she comment to her children and grandchildren on the passage of time, and remind them that her great-grandfather is in Doullens Cemetery.

From the mud of Flanders to those new poppy fields in Helmand, the Poor Bloody Infantry did not decide the cause or determine the events.

Along with the families of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, whatever our preconceptions and prejudices, we should remember -- and honour -- them. Sphere: Related Content


Dewi Harries said...

Malcolm Redfellow said...

And he was a great man.

Once, only once, I had to face up to a Newbridge XV (I think I was playing in the 3rds and they were on a tour, before the Lansdowne Road game).

They were hard men.

Dewi, if I'm reading this right, that's one hell of a legacy:

a committed and dedicated man who made the impossible achievable ... rugby, Cymru and science

What else is there?

In all truth: my thoughts this time to you and yours.

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