Worlds Colliding

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The Strength to go on February 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — meg3212 @ 9:09 pm

After reading Vera Britton’s testomony to her struggles and hardships during her time as a nurse during WWI, I often wondered where she found her strength to go on.  I especially had this thought after he long time boyfriend, Roland was killed just two days before seeing her.  In Vera’s life, Roland was the only positive thing, and after he died, it seems as though she would not be able to go on with her daily routine.  However, she does find testrength to make it through.  Vera wrote about how she wondered if it was heroism or folly that killed Roldand.  She was so desperatly hoping it was herosim becasuethat would somehow make it easier to justify and grasp.  She wrote,

“All heroism, I argued desperately in my diary, is to a certain extent unnecessary from a purely utilitarian point of view….But even herosim means something infintely greater and finer, even if less praticale, than just avoiding blame, and doing one’s exact, sterotyped duty and no more.”

Vera often used the idea that if he was killed in a heroic act of duty, then it would be easier to accept ans swallow his death.  This makes me wonder how other girlfriends, wives, sisters, brothers, etc. deal with the death of a loved one who is killed in our current war.  A woman named Dena, now living in Nebraska, recently lost her husband on December 1st from wounds he got while fighting  .   Her husband left behind his wife, Dena and his two young daughters.  Dena created a blogto update family and friends of their progress and their new life since Rob passed away.  As I was reading her recent posts, what struck me the most, was her upbeat attitude and her willingness and strong sense of need to move forward.  I believethat Dena is getting her strength from God, and from knowing that he died a hero.  She wrote,

“Tomorrow is going to be tough. But, Rob died doing what he loved and what he believed in and I am so proud of him. ”

Both women used the idea of herosim to help them get through their difficult times.  Vera and Dena both share a strength to go on, even after the love of their lives was taken from them.  I am in awe at the amount of strength and endurance both of these women had in such devastating times.   After reading and reflecting on both a experience, I wondered how i would deal with such a loss.  I only hope that I can find the strength to carry on like these, and so many other family members do.


Britton, Vera.  Testament of Youth, pg 243

The Yllescas Family Blog,


For the Love of War

Filed under: Uncategorized — meg3212 @ 7:36 pm

After reading Rupert Brooke’s poem, The Soldier, I gained a sense of love for his country and for what the war stood for.    Compared to some of the other themes that the war poems portray, about how awful and dreadful the war is, this poem seemed to have a sense of pride for fighting and for his country.  Because Brooke died in the early years of the war, could have effected his attitude and tone towards the war.  In The Soldier, he writes:


 If I should die, think only this of me:

  That there’s some corner of a foreign field

 That is forever England.  There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;

A dust whome England bore, shaped, made aware

Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

A body of Englans’s, breathing English air,

Washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home.


And think, this heart, all evil shed away,

A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;

Her sights and sounds; dream happy as her day;

And laughter, learnt of friends, an gentleness,

In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.


After searching for articles, or diaries on the effects of wars on soldiers, I found one blog from a soldier who gave me a similar sense of pride and satisfaction from war, although it was for different reasons that Brooke.   In the blog called, The Rollercoaster of War, a soldier talks about his combat experience. Smith’s world was soon taken over by bombings and gun battles everyday.  Soon, the world outside of war seemed so insignificant to him.  He states, 

          “Though it is difficult to explain why, I did not want to leave Iraq: I felt so grafted to the war, and the world beyond it seemed so   insignificant. I remember a similar feeling as I left no man’s land between the Croatian and Serb armies back in 1995. But it was nothing compared with what I felt when my plane began the steep, ground fire-evasive, climb-out over Baghdad International Airport last week.”


Smith admits in his blog that there is an addiction to combat war, he writes:


       “That is the most basic instinct of man. We live with fleeing or fighting and you have gone right in to the eyes of the fight. You will  hear from so many that you are ‘out of your mind’ and ‘why did you go there?’ But only you will know why you did and why you miss it,    because it is impossible to explain. It is something more than just adrenaline. There is a plaque in the training area of the [SEAL] teams that      says, ‘Once man has hunted man, he will always hunger for it.’ Read whatever you want into that, but you are closer to understanding that than most will ever be.”

Brooke’s poem and this blog offer similar view points and attitudes toward the war.  Brooke’s describes his loyalty to the war through his love for his country.  Smith talks about the war with a similar attitude, only he enjoys how combat makes him feel as a man.  It is interesting to see the similarities as well as differences with World War I and the current war in Iraq. 



Brooke, Rupert: The Soldier,  World War One British Poets, pg 3.

Smith, Thomas W Jr., “The Rollercoaster of War, 2007,