Remembrance Day: War will become obsolete when it is socially unacceptable

By Pepper Parr

November 11th, 2021



Remembrance Day wreaths - dozens at cenotaphLater today Burlingtonians will watch a live streamed video of the Remembrance Day service and remember the fallen and those who served in the wars we have fought – all in the name of the democracy we cherish but don’t always observe or respect.

The bugles will sound out the Last Post. Reveille will be played and the troops march away. We leave the Cenotaph in a reflective mood.

In a play Trevor Copp wrote a number of years ago, there was a scene in which two soldiers were talking about the things they had done when they were in the trenches during WW1.

The experienced was horrific for both and horrific for the men who were there in 1917. There are very few of those WW1 veterans left – those that are salute at a Cenotaph on Remembrance Day. The lines on their faces and the look in their eyes tell much of the story.

The script drills down:



Then on to the next trench. The next. They kept us going for miles. It worked again and again. We were taking ground that had been held for months. Turning the tide for the whole region. No bullets; we just used the bayonets over and over. But sometimes they would stick in the ribs, then the man you’d just run through would wrap his arms around you. Hold you in, like he wanted to pray with you, you had to pry them off. It took too long. We were almost all the way through; but the light was breaking and we were getting too slow.

Then one of ours dropped his bayonet and picked up a shovel for digging trench. They were heavy and sharp. At the next trench he wheeled it back and cut one of them in half. One swing.

It looked quicker.

It didn’t stick. Everyone dropped the guns and took shovels.

I found a muddy one in the next field.

It looked quicker.


I understand Herman.


We reached the last trench just at first light.

It was faster.

I used a shovel Leo.

God forgive me, I did it with a shovel.


War will become obsolete when it is socially unacceptable

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 comments to Remembrance Day: War will become obsolete when it is socially unacceptable