I was in France a few years ago and the journey back took me through Normandy where all the WW2 cemeteries are. I visited the British and Canadian one in Bayeux, and the American one at Caen, and then I noticed that there was a German one at Orglondes, so I went to see it. Well, I have never experienced anything like the atmosphere of deep sorrow that hung over the place, and even now when I think about it, it still gets to me.
I know some people might have a problem with that, but I make no apologies for what I felt. When you walk around and see the ages of the young men who died, and that goes for all the cemeteries, it really brings it home to you what an insanity, and a complete waste of humanity, war is.
In the Battle for Normandy, now long over,
this is the story of the losing side,
visible in the final resting places
of those known, and Known Only Unto God.
No glorifying memorials,
no quotes, no fine speeches.
Below a bell tower, an apologetic sign
Remains, a grey stone marker, six by one...
Onto the thousands, you fought and died,
you chased the dark dream, another ‘old lie’.
Youth sacrificed on the altar of ideology,
in a damning testament of 'man's inhumanity to man'.
‘I did not think, I just went along’
‘My friends all joined so I did too
A boy’s own adventure, we thought’
‘I was afraid not to, I followed the crowd’.
‘I believed in it, I was serving my country
I was proud. I don’t believe now'.
So full of regret now, weighted in sorrow,
bearing down on me to grieve the tomorrow
that never came for this Lost Generation:
This is the story of the losing side,
that reveals the darkness that lives in us yet.
That negates the claims we make to civilization,
and reminds us to think:
Lest We Forget.