This is a complicated day for me. My great-grandfather, Arthur Ferguson was one of the men who was sent to the hellhole of Passchendaele to capture a piece of land that Haig would later abandon as not militarily important. What do you say of men sent to do such things? Their efforts were genuine, they succeeded in doing an impossibly difficult thing, but for what? Red Tory puts it very well by saying:
“More than 68,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders died in the pointless slaughter of WWI — for absolutely nothing.”
Arthur Ferguson did not die (and for that the rest of you are afflicted by my blogging) but he did go through hell I am sure. Why? Because Belgium had to be defended? Because Germany was an enemy of Britain for threatening her naval supremacy? Because Gavrilo Princep shot Franz Ferdinand? I don’t know. It does not diminish the sacrifice of our veterans that it was made for suspect causes, but it does perhaps diminish the rest of us when we permit or even encourage our forces to be used in these ways.