Saturday, November 10, 2007

Don't forget those "shot at dawn" tomorrow

We're in the runup to Veterans' Day here, or if you are in the UK, Remembrance Sunday. Tomorrow is the day to honor the dead of all the conflicts of the bloody century just past--World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, the gulf wars--and the one which we've just launched, i.e. Iraq and Afghanistan. There's quite a category of war dead that have been unjustly neglected over the years, namely those unfortunates of World War I who cracked under the strain of constant bombardment, living with corpses in the trenches and pointless and murderous assaults on the enemy across No Man's Land. Some of these soldiers fled the trenches, physically unable to carry on their war service--they were no doubt suffering from what we know today as PTSD. There was no counseling for them, though, no respite in a veterans' hospital--they got a firing squad, often made up of their own comrades.

The families of these soldiers have gone to great lengths to point up the injustice of these executions and clear the names of their loved ones. You can read about their campaign, recently crowned with success in an official exoneration from the British government, here.

Not your garden-variety Veterans' Day experience...

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