War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

questions, questions, questions

preparing for the Req., fielding call after call. interview after interview. and some journos do their homework and others, well …
yet I’m grateful there is interest in this work.

a question has been circling in my head all afternoon. a young researcher asked it: why war? and it wasn’t until I began reading Wade Davis’s Into the Silence: The Great War and the Conquest of Everest that I finally landed on something …

I’ve crossed this my beloved country six times. twice coast to coast. and every tiny village in this blessed land has a little cenotaph with names of its boys from the Boer War, WWI, WWII and Korea. soon A’stan’s names will join these and include women combatants’ names.

and it always moved me to see a little town like Val Marie, Sask. for example, tucked down on the Montana border, and its cenotaph. little prairie towns that gave maybe a dozen boys. ranch boys never to return. and I’ve seen those cenotaphs on the east coast. all the way beyond places and wondered why the hell, what would compel them to go.

recently a friend told me about a village near his little Alberta town that lost all its young men. the women left the village. it’s only a name on the map now, its heart gone.

then reading Davis’s writing, especially as he speaks of the First Five Hundred of the Newfoundland Regiment, as they prepared for and headed into the front, triggered a realization in me. I always wanted to know who those boys were. where they were from. why they went so far away to fight. how they fought. and how it was for them and theirs. and maybe I’ll never really understand. but I’ve met thousands of those small town Canadian boys (men and women). and perhaps now I understand, just a little bit more.

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled questions, questions, questions. It was posted here on November 02, 2012.


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