Over the week-end was veterans’ Day. (November 11) A day set aside for soldiers who served in the military. It is also a day to remember those who died in line of duty.
One would possibly have seen the President and others going to lay wreaths in memory of ” our gallant soldiers”.
After the marching, they possibly would be fetted . Isn’t it good to celebrated after death? Our ancestors from the Coast even to those after the sea. Those who enjoy the Gbedument. Ehem . But was that all the wanted?
Didn’t they have dreams? Young bloods hungry for success in and out of the battle grounds? Betrothed Virgins who wait on the roads awaiting their lord who will come only with our Lord? They make enemies of the soldiers only to toast over their slain trophy heads.
You see? It is still happening now. With some beating war drums where Doves are to abide. Upsetting their nests. Thinking of only themselves.
It reminds me of Wilfred Owen. A young soldier who wrote several epitaphs or should I say dirges before his death. I post the one he wrote few months before dieing on the battlefield. He died few days to the official ending of World War 1
BY WILFRED OWEN
It seemed that out of battle I escaped
Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
Through granites which titanic wars had groined.
Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,
Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.
Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared
With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,
Lifting distressful hands, as if to bless.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall,—
By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell.
With a thousand fears that vision’s face was grained;
Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,
And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan.
“Strange friend,” I said, “here is no cause to mourn.”
“None,” said that other, “save the undone years,
The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
Was my life also; I went hunting wild
After the wildest beauty in the world,
Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,
But mocks the steady running of the hour,
And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here.
For by my glee might many men have laughed,
And of my weeping something had been left,
Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,
The pity of war, the pity of war distilled.
Now men will go content with what we spoiled.
Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.
They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress.
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery;
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery:
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.
Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels,
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
“I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark: for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.
Let us sleep now. . . .”
Let us sleep now. With the elipsis, Eternal sleep. Can one sleep in hell ?Can one sleep in Africa? Maybe, we can take a wink since the Vigilante groups in my beloved country are taking a nap. What about Zimbabwe? Where there are threats from the Military to intervene in Politics. For whatever reasons, in the end,
“Men will go content with what we spoiled
Or discontent. Boil bloody…”
Who are going to be on the dance floor when the Fotompfrom sounds. It will not be the founding Veteran Fathers of Zimbabwe. It will be the youth, Who have many years to do but likely to mourn their “undone years”
Ghanaians are peaceful we blast our chest. If recent developments, we do not hit our chest with our hands, but some of us cover our chests in order not to be hit by some gunshots. Am I going too far? When people are threatening here and there for their share of the booty, Would it not be wise on my part to follow the saying “Better to prepare and Prevent…“?
But do we need to do this? Well, I am an optimistic soul. We are averagely peace loving. We using our “One Corner” joking brand to cover up the monsters in some people in this nation. Angry people on the streets, in the cars, angry people in our offices, schools, markets, not wanting to forgive those who commit or omit unintentionally and let go of broad day robbers. If war was to be the traffic lights, I am afraid some Ghanaians with their curled fists are getting close to the Yellow means get ready.
My prayer: Please uncurl your “Azumah blows“. Remember Wilfred Owen for he mourns no matter the gravity,
“The pity of war,
The pity of war distilled”
Till we meet again, I join my voice with Desmond Lamptey, The Country Protagonist on Class Fm :
“KEEP THE PEACE”