Thursday, August 6, 2009

"I am more and more a Christian. . . Suffer dishonour and disgrace, but never resort to arms. Be bullied, be outraged, be killed: but do not kill."

(in memory of...)

Le Feu

Harry Patch was a remarkable man. The story of his life is the story of a man who survived the horrors of the trenches; in his own case those of Passchendaele, living to tell a story of courage, fortitude and, above all, humility. Patch was always vociferous in his condemnation of war, all wars. But he understood friendship - more than anything, and he understood that the men who fell on both sides, predominantly very young, boys really, lost their lives in fruitless pursuit of victory in what history has erroneously termed 'the war to end all wars.' The futility of this was never lost on him and, despite living the long life he did, he never swayed from his opinion that the lives of his comrades, and of his German counterparts - whom he never failed to ask to be similarly remembered - was wasted on the battlefields of Europe. Harry Patch was a voice of conciliation, a man of and for peace - he was, in every way, the very definition of a true hero.

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