The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month.
100 years ago, today; the guns fell silent on the Western Front and the «War to end all wars» was over.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
— Major John McCrae
This morning, I forgot we were the 11th. I heard a couple of loud bangs, too loud to be gunshots.
I started worrying about an eventual terrorist attack. Then I figured even Belgian terrorists weren’t dumb enough to commit an attack on a sunday. And a dozen more bangs confirmed this.
Turns out we celebrate the end of the war with cannons firing.
A bit like celebrating losing 20kg in a diet by going to a McDonald
8 years ago I discovered Rise of Flight. During the intervening years I joined a squad and shared what were easily the best online experiences of my life. That period will simply be impossible to follow. The game gave me a serious interest in the War, one which I had previously given nary a thought to. I have read half a dozen books on it. One, Guns of August, three times. I bought a biplane of my own. With VR, I gave up Rise of Flight, which I now sorely regret. Two days ago my squad officially disbanded. It was time. During the period I was active though, I feel I was able to appreciate the air war almost real time. There is no way to relate millions of young boys cut off before their prime to a game. But I will anyway because that’s the only connection I have. And it let’s me feel a touch of sadness about this date–one that I otherwise would not have even noticed.
Flightsims, and war games in general, should not be underestimated for their value as history lessons.
Very true Troll. IL-2 introduced me to the war in the East during WW2 that was completely omitted from what I learned in school, plus it actually peaked an interest in that aspect of WW2 and the sacrifices made by the Russians during the conflict.