Crimea: (n) a peninsula in SE Ukraine
Old men hear speeches and wave flags.
Young men grab guns and prepare to kill.
Old women have pictures of their sons in dress uniforms.
Young women attend funerals.
There’s nothing noble about war.
Perhaps merely removing the nobility of war—the romantic notion of heroism and bravery—might cause us to settle down and reconsider conflict.
I remember the first time I read Tennyson’s poem, “Charge of the Light Brigade.” It was a brilliant artistic expression of the courage of young soldiers on horseback during the Crimean War, who were asked to attack a battery of cannon with just their swords.
Tennyson meant well.
But he ended up glamorizing what was neither brave nor essential.
It was a foolish decision by a commander who was tired of nothing happening and decided to use human lives to experiment. Because of that it’s very difficult to hear the word “Crimea” without thinking of the Crimean War—which certainly brings to mind the unnecessary sacrifice of soldiers who were bound by duty.
I wonder what would happen if we forced people to commit to love, kindness and tenderness the way we drill murder, mayhem and anger into our infantry. Is it possible that we would no longer need teenage boys charging hills and dying so that old men can prove that they’re powerful?
I don’t know.
Crimea makes me think of war.
And the Crimean War makes me think of the “Charge of the Light Brigade.”
And that ridiculous decision makes me sad over unnecessary loss.
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