Three years ago today, I was in the car as the Last Post rang out, on my way to the hospital. I wasn't having contractions, but my amniotic fluid was leaking, and I was under strict instructions from my sister-in-law (who didn't want to share her November 11 birthday) not to give birth until after midnight. (I complied.)
I love birth stories, I love thinking of them as our war stories, but today I am reminded of the fact that 88 years ago an entire generation of men came home and never spoke of what they had seen and done, over there in the trenches.
For them, and for those who did not come home:
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, --
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
Wilfred Owen, "Anthem for Doomed Youth"