“Between the crosses, row on row”

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.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields



About stevengoddard

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26 Responses to “Between the crosses, row on row”

  1. V. Uil says:

    Thanks for the post.

    Also worth a read is an article on John McCrae author of the wonderful poem

  2. au1corsair says:

    Compare ISIS today to Imperial Germany of 1914. See any major differences? How about the USA of 1914 to the USA of 2015?

    That’s why there’s history!

  3. My own tribute:

    I’m proud of two young men who served as sergeants in Iraq
    We’re fortunate; they went in ’91, and both came back
    And one yet wears the uniform and serves his country still
    The other’s done his job, and both have gained a lot of skill

    But larger than my family, I raise a proud salute
    To all you vets who trained and served that needful high pursuit
    We’re here, and we are free, and we’re a nation worth applause
    And it has been at your expense — it IS a noble cause

    A small percentage of us puts their bodies in harm’s way
    Some don’t survive. You’ve bought the liberty we have today
    And not alone for us, a hundred million souls and more
    Were freed by US troops. You know just what you’re fighting for

    And so do we — and so today I thank you one and all
    For answering your country and responding to the call
    Our job lies yet before us, to preserve the prize you’ve won
    We proudly undertake the job that you’ve so well begun

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  4. Barbara says:

    Wonderful! My flag will fly tomorrow. I’m proud to be an American citizen in these United States.
    I wish all of our states could/would unite to protest the federal over reach: Clean Power Plan, Waters of the U.S., Amnesty for illegal immigrants, etc. etc. etc.

    • rah says:

      My flag flies every day and night (lighted) my dear. Stars & Stripes above and Gadsden Don’t Tread on Me below. Call someone(s) tomorrow that you know has been there and done that and thank them for their service if you don’t see them in person during the day. It really is the easiest way to make a powerful gesture. I kinda make it point to make a special effort to do so with the Vietnam vets because they didn’t get that when they came home. In fact a fair number of them got the exact opposite.

  5. u.k.(us) says:

    Right, wrong, or in between.
    Here is the first 3 hours (audio podcast) of one man’s take on WWI.
    It is the first part of a six part podcast.
    The other 5 parts are free also with a few clicks.

  6. Midwives. Craftsmen. Organic farmers. The German Greens are coming home. Heim ins Reich. Volk und Natur. Blut und Boden.

    Bizarre clog-wearing cult on rise in rural Germany

    The group … have traded … boots for clogs and traditional materials and work as organic farmers, midwives and craftsmen.

    “They subvert village structures and spread … propaganda over the garden fence.”

    Barbara Karsten and her partner Knut Jahn are a couple marooned in a small village surrounded by neo-Nazis. They moved to Wibbese in Lower Saxony and were delighted at the seeming friendliness of neighbours.

    Barbara said: “They brought us over eggs and goat’s milk. But soon we became suspicious.

    “The man with a tattoo of an imperial eagle, the man who wore a … helmet when riding his motorbike.”

    Mr Jahn added: “Our neighbours were widely accepted as good and helpful citizens and could spread almost undisturbed their supermen propaganda.”

    They hold pagan festivals around bonfires, sing songs banned since the fall of the Third Reich and cluster around a signpost that informs the visitor just how far away Braunau-am-Inn is; the Austrian birthplace of their beloved Adolf Hitler.


  7. rah says:

    One time I researched at the National Archives site to get the official figures for war the US has been involved in. For every war since our Civil war I figured the actual number of days US personnel were in combat. Then I divided each category of casualties, Killed, wounded, missing by the number of days the US was in that war. By that criteria WW I was BY FAR the deadliest war the US has ever fought. Then add to that the US deaths from the great flu pandemic and do the same exercise. You’ll find that 1918 to 1920 was BY FAR the deadliest two years for Americans since the Civil War.

    • Jason Calley says:

      As near as I can tell, World War One was a research project to determine how many soldiers could be stuffed into a mechanized sausage making machine before the gears seized up. Strangely, all the massive research funding seemed to go to a very small and select group of already wealthy businessmen.

    • Gail Combs says:

      Grand Dad died then leaving a wife and six young children. Grandma got every single one of them, including the two girls (one died in high school) through college.

      The American people do not have those type of guts anymore.

  8. Andy DC says:

    It is heartbreaking to think of the millions of young lives snuffed out in senseless wars.

    • rah says:

      All war are senseless until your staring into the mouth of the crocodile. Just now I’m re-reading the multiple books of Winston’s Churchilles Personal Memoirs from WW II. In fact I’m reading ‘Their Finest Hour’. France has Capitulated and Vichy has taken control of the unoccupied portion of the country and it’s Colonies, Norway invaded, Almost all of Western Europe under Hitlers boot. Britain stands alone with only her empire to back her and having only received from the US by this time a ship load or two of surplus WW I arms and ammunition. In the US many of the same politicians and “experts” that had been confident that the western allies would defeat Hitler are now equally confident that Britain cannot possibly hold out and should get the best terms they can from Hitler. The Soviets at this point are not at war with Germany and in fact are shipping them raw materials.

      The British Army having lost most of it’s modern arms on the Continent despite the miracle at Dunkirk is still inadequately armed and it will be months before the losses of artillery, and other heavy weapons can even be replaced for the existing Divisions. Most of those in the Home Guard that don’t have their own firearms have none at all. So Britain relies on it’s great Navy and 25 squadrons of fighter aircraft to ward off an invasion attempt. Despite these circumstances when Hitler puts out peace feelers Churchill with the unanimous backing of his cabinet and Parliament makes it clear it will not accept ANY terms from Hitler short of total withdraw of all German forces from all conquered territories. It was a war worth fighting.

      • Keitho says:

        Indeed. You don’t have to go looking for war, it will find you. When it does you can capitulate and vanish under the waves or you can fight. The only one that gives you the chance to survive is to fight.

        As Churchill said, when you find yourself in hell keep going because you have only lost when you give up. Never give in, never surrender.

        Great man, great people even though they have been infested with some defeatist thinking of late.

        • It was interesting that just a couple of years before, the young John F. Kennedy was the palace guest of Benito Mussolini, and became enamored with fascism as it allowed a military buildup without all the messiness of seeking the people’s permission to do so.

          Kennedy wrote a paper on this when he got back to the States. He correctly pointed out the rise of Hitler and the need to prepare to fight him, but his faith in fascism as the solution (to fascism!) was misplaced. To Kennedy’s credit, he quickly grew out of the notion.

          Sometimes we must fight. It is an art to know when. But giving up our Constitutional republic in the process (as the young JFK suggested) defeats us, and our purpose, in advance.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

        • Good points, Keith, just one semantic but in my mind important quarrel:

          Yes, Kennedy’s first instinct was anti-democratic, but no, it wasn’t using fascism to fight “fascism“. Many American elites were infatuated with Mussolini, and quite longer than Kennedy. However, “fascism” as a political term that includes the Italian state, Hitler’s National Socialism, Japan’s Bushido, and everything else people don’t like—or no longer like—is completely meaningless.

          As I was writing this I decided to look up what I remembered Orwell said about it. It turns out he didn’t think it was “completely meaningless” but rather “almost entirely meaningless“. 🙂

          I think I will stick with Orwell’s 1944 view over all the silly definitions of political “scientists” and thinkers before or after him. It served me well so far and I doubt I’ll ever see a better definition of “fascism“.

          What is Fascism?
          By George Orwell
          First published: Tribune, London, 1944

          Of all the unanswered questions of our time, perhaps the most important is: ‘What is Fascism?’
          It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.
          Thirdly, even the people who recklessly fling the word ‘Fascist’ in every direction attach at any rate an emotional significance to it. By ‘Fascism’ they mean, roughly speaking, something cruel, unscrupulous, arrogant, obscurantist, anti-liberal and anti-working-class. Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.


          As they say, read the whole thing. It’s a short column but I don’t imagine that after reading it any thinking person would ever use the word “fascism” the same way. I know it took me a long time to come to terms with the meaning of the word but Orwell’s 1944 ridicule expresses perfectly how I came to see it many decades later.

        • rah says:

          Many were enamored with Hitler prior the the invasion of Poland. Charles Limburgh and Henry Ford among others.

        • Heh. A great Freudian slip. I think Charles Lindbergh earned this association with the smelly German cheese. 🙂

        • Gail Combs says:

          Colorado Wellington,

          According to E.M. Smith (with his economist hat on) there was a scramble by the US left to distance themselves from the WORD “fascism“ after the atrocities of WWII came to light.

          The new phrase for the same concept is “The Third Way” The Progressives are always changing the meanings of words trying to hide their true nature. Especially since the US is now largely Fascist…..

          So the word “fascism“ does have a specific meaning. They just don’t want you to realize you are living under fascism.

          ….Oddly, you can look at Communism as the “limit case” where there is ONE corporation and it IS the government. At the other extreme is “laissez faire” with huge numbers of competitors. As you move toward Communism you pass through stages of ever more “concentration” of control. Just shy of communism is Classical Socialism with it’s state planning boards and commissions. A bit more toward L.F. you get “Market Socialism” (with some sub-types in between).

          The USA until about 1990 was a “Mixed Economy” with some “natural monopolies” under government “control” via “regulation”; and with many competitive markets. We’ve moved to more central planning and more central “regulation” (in some cases as a cover for the “planning” word that has gotten tied to Socialism… so is political to some extent). With the nationalization of GM and the bank “bailout” / “rescue” that was really more of a ‘take-under’ in some ways; we moved to a Lange Type Socialism.

          The result of the last 50 years has been more companies in markets with Oligopolies that are essentially guaranteed by the government. Who dominates the Home Mortgage Market? Fanny & Freddy – Gov’t Corporations. Who dominates the Student Loan Market? Sally Mae – a Gov’t Corporation. Who dominates US Autos? GM – a Gov’t Corporation via Nationalization, but now being sold off. (Though Ford is doing well too.) And who “Calls the Tune” for the Banks in America? ALL of them? The Federal Reserve Bank – a Gov’t sponsored corporation. And there are a whole lot more of them. Try taking a train from coast to coast for example…

          At the next tier down, we have Gov’t dependent Oligopolies. Say you wanted to make airplanes. First off, you need that dozen lawyers to work the FAA for you. Next up, you need some friends in the Military to feed you contracts. Don’t think so? When Boeing gets a $B contract to ‘study’ or ‘develop’ and you need to design your new tech from scratch on your own money: Who do you think will win? So the government basically decides how many companies it wants, and who they will be, then funds them “to plan” with contracts. (This is NOT a hypothetical… I’ve watched them flat out announce “We’d like Lockheed and Martin to merge” or “we don’t want…” usually when one of them is ‘having issues’ and the topic is raised. Then the gov’t casts the one vote that matters…)

          And so it goes…

          This is, dare I say it…. basically the same way the Fascist “Third Way” worked. (And it DOES work). FDR and Wilson both had high praise for The Third Way and you can see how they shifted America from a ‘free market’ toward “Third Way” government – corporation “cooperation” … It was this same process / tendency that Ike warned about in the “Military Industrial Complex” speech.

          So we’ve moved away from straight up competition (and with good reasons… it is less profitable and more destructive in some ways and it is prone to monopoly practices) and toward that Classical Socialist end of things; with exact placement varying over time. And we called it a “Mixed Economy” at the ‘tepid’ end; as the name “fascist Third Way” got a bit tainted during W.W.II …. that tendency for Mussolini and Hitler to stir in a load of Nationalism and for the Nazi’s a double helping of Racism spoiled the soup for the Third Way “Socialist Lite” folks like FDR.

          And the propaganda worked.

          We’ve now got a “Progressive” and a “Third Way” government that IS a form of Socialism. (Now being rebranded as “Market Socialism” in the Eastern Block and Euro zones; called “Regulation” in the USA and sometimes poking it’s head up under “Rescue” as well with the most recent bits called “Social Justice”… all the pieces as slices of salami, but no overall Big Picture of it… we like to keep our socialism hidden in tiny bites with different names.) But just don’t ever point out that it’s basically the same “Third Way” process, using what’s properly called “Corporatism”, to achieve the Socialist agenda; that was first innovated by the Fascists… After all, it doesn’t fit the propaganda paradigm “Fascists bad, WORLD Socialists good” put out by Stalin

          And that is the root cause of your pondering. Corporations are very happy under a Socialist Third Way / Progressive / Market Socialism / Fascist / “Government regulated Coopetition” (whatever you name you like to apply to the same beast) system. They are not very happy with wide open competitive markets. See all of Europe for an example of “Managed Markets” (yet another name…) The French are masters of this technique, and the Germans not far behind. The Japanese innovated the Keiretsu as a way to limit competition to manageable chunks with government supervision.

          Like I said, it DOES work. What galls me is just that we run around putting 20 different names on the same process and that just hides what’s really going on. All for political reasons. Very “un-tidy”… You’d think these folks had something to hide

        • Yes, Gail. That is the competing view that I also keep in mind. It seems we live, as much as we resist it, in a Hegelian world so the word can be concurrently meaningful and meaningless. There is only one thing certain: “Fascism” doesn’t mean what today’s Progressives say it means.

      • Andy DC says:

        Millions die senselessly as pawns of egomaniacs, who are determined to expand their power and force their will on others. Then millions more die fighting the egomaniacs. It is sickening and tragic all the way around.

    • gator69 says:

      It’s high time we bring back sensible wars, enough is enough!

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