November 11

It’s still Armistice Day in Britain; officially, Victoire 1918 in France, though it’s not a day of joy.

The Menin Gate at Ypres, a British Empire Commonwealth war memorial whose walls are densely packed with 54,000 names of dead soldiers whose bodies were not recovered identifiably from the Flanders mud. Many more lie in orderly war cemeteries nearby. There are plenty of flowers stuck to the walls at Menin; Ypres is far more accessible to British visitors than the other mega-monument lost in the Somme beetfields at Thiépval. A busy road with bus routes passes through the Menin Gate, so the memorial is pleasantly integrated in the life of the town.

EUROPE FOR THE CWGC BY BRIAN HARRIS © 2006Credit New Zealand War Graves Project

The memorial includes a miniature, four-foot bronze version of itself, explained in Braille. (I didn’t check if it includes a tiny self-referential model of itself.) Did it take the Great War for the disabled to start being treated as citizens?

At Menin, a bugler plays the Last Post (Taps) every evening at dusk. Here is an an Aussie in Anzac hat at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Bad day in the blogosphere

Kevin Drum is one of the high-candlepower sources in public deliberation.  This did not begin my day well.  My aunt succumbed to this disease fifty-odd years ago, and  one bright spot here is that Kevin’s prospects are so much better than hers. Another is Kevin’s completely unwhiny, thoughtful affect.  Get better, Kevin, and my best to Marian. And the cats.

Why we should fund medical and all science research more, I leave for another post.