While it’s been highly publicized lately about the passing on of the “Greatest Generation”, I find it seemingly ironic that the almost virtual disappearance (and knowledge?) of the generation coming from the “War to End All Wars” has not been seen and commented on as equally. Perhaps it’s my own lack of knowledge, but it seems much like the “police action” of the Korean War, World War One is becoming virtually unknown by most regular folks.
Certainly I’m not taking anything away from the tremendous sacrifices of those from the World War Two era, it was actually World War One that marked the transition to the new century, leaving behind the era that proceeded it. From the new “mechanized” method of warfare that arose to the vast numbers of casualties taken in the battles of the Somme, First Battle of the Marne, and others, this war characterized the new century.
But yet, more than just sheer engineering or mechanics, World War One also provided a fertile field for those who would become more famous in the early years of the 20th century as well, with names such as Ernest Hemingway, Tolkien, John McCrae, Canadian and the author of the famous “In Flander’s Fields”. Have you ever read this poem?
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
I’ll leave you today with the following links to more information and study on the “Great War”. If you have yet to familiarize yourself with it, then it’s worth looking and and pondering for a while.
Talk to you soon,
H-Net. “Hollywood Stars and Army Service…” (Book Review)
Poster and Stars and Stripes newspaper examples courtesy the LOC Prints & Photographs Reading Room. Go here for more information.