World War 1
What was duty?
by Lillly Lowe
Lilly, from the Chase High School in Malvern, asks some hard questions about the meaning of duty.
Everyday I would write a reflection using a quote I found in a book about WW1 (a Testament of Youth- Vera Brittain) or a quote I found on a grave, and that would inspire me to write about the contrast of the quote to what really happened:
Memorial at Notre Dame de Lorette
"I slept and dreamt that life was beauty, I woke and found that life was duty."
I found how true this quote was when it came to today- experiencing a miniscule idea of trench life and warfare, and how hard it must have been. All that work and effort put in to achieve that dream of beauty, but causing so much destruction on the 'way' – land damaged, lives stolen…
Newfoundland memorial on the Somme
"Death is swallowed up in victory."
Is this quote true? Is it possible not to care about death if we won? But care if we lose? If we lose it's because we lost so many men, if we win in the long run we lost few. Can that aim of peace only come from men taken to peace forever? Must people die for peace? Surely that contradicts the aim of peace?
"Duty called, he obeyed"
Duty - What was this man’s duty? What were all these men's duties? Was it to die? Was it to kill the enemy? Or was it to get peace? No one will ever know. These men probably didn't know what their duty was; some didn't even know their left from right.
last updated: 16/10/2008 at 09:58