For the Fallen

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© History Today                                                  Exhaustion at Passchendaele

A lesson learnt amid the white-knuckle ride of life is that deathness is existentially different from lifeness.

What nonsense is this? The woman’s not been taking her medication, I hear you cry.

Well, for one thing I don’t do pharmaceuticals and for another, if you share the privilege of having been removed temporarily from life, then you’ll know it all makes perfect sense.

On this woeful anniversary when annually we honour those brave souls who, defending our freedom, have been felled by political failure, I am reminded that the very best death is to die for others.

Religions have high-jacked this idea, alas. It makes it no less true. Those who mourn, if they are willing to reflect, might take comfort from knowing the final sacrifice made is passport to another country. Lest we forget, noble deeds matter and in that reckoning, count.