Today we remember the men and women who have served their country. I am not a pacifist and I am grateful for the courage and sacrifices that have been made on my behalf.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.
On a personal note, I was named in part after Wilfred Owen, the First World War poet. He fought heroically in the Somme, and after medical treatment (the subject of Pat Barker’s book Regeneration) he returned voluntarily to the front. He was killed on 4th November 1918, just a week before the Armistice. He was a courageous patriot who understood at first hand the horror of war. In 1917 he wrote Dulce et Decorum Est, one of the most expressive condemnations of war ever written:
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.