Tuesday, January 05, 2010

"An Urgent Message"

The holiday double issue of The Economist featured an interesting piece called "From memory to history" about the last two fighting British servicemen of "The Great War" a.k.a. World War I.

The article's subhead: "With the deaths of Harry Patch, at 111, and Henry Allingham, at 113, the last memories of fighting on the front in the first world war have gone."

Noteworthy passage:

In old age both men had an urgent message, so urgent that it almost exhausted their small supply of breath. “War’s stupid,” said Mr Allingham. “Nobody wins. You might as well talk first, you have to talk last anyway.”

“T’isn’t worth it,” said Mr Patch. “War isn’t worth one life.”

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