Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day

remembrance-day-poppy When Lewis penned these words, [his brother] Warren, a retired army major, had already been recalled to active duty, and it appeared for a time that Jack might be called up as well. Even though he was forty years old and an established Oxford don, he was among those English males between the ages of 18 and 41 still classified as eligible for conscription. Having already served in one European war, Lewis confessed to a friend that he dreaded the idea of donning his uniform yet again:
D-Day Veteran returns to NormandyMy memories of the last war haunted my dreams for years. Military service, to be plain, includes the threat of every temporal evil; pain and death, which is what we fear from sickness; isolation from those we love, which is what we fear from exile; toil under arbitrary masters, which is what we fear from slavery: hunger, thirst, and exposure which is what we fear from poverty. I’m not a pacifist. If it’s got to be it’s got to be. But the flesh is weak and selfish, and I think death would be much better than to live through another war.

Introduction by David C. Downing’s essay “C.S. Lewis on War and Peace” followed by quotation from C.S. Lewis, Letters of C. S. Lewis. Revised and Enlarged Edition, ed. by Walter Hooper (London: Harper Collins, 1988) 320.

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