Friday, April 22, 2005

Alas, This Is a Senseless Waste of Type.

While the nation is all wrapped up in this Gomery shenanigans, my thoughts are drawn to more significant matters. Today marks the 90th anniversary of the first poison gas attack. In the depths of the stalemate of the First World War, the German high command desperately ordered the release of 160 tons of chlorine gas into the French trenches at Yrpes. In what quickly became a common practice of war on both sides, the Canadian line was targeted a mere two days later. And while the French defenders turned and fled, the Canadian force stood firm and lost nearly 2,000 men for their troubles. In fact, this battle was the start of the 'seventeen days of Hades' which were so gruesome and miserable that they produced the legendary 'In Flanders Fields'. And all this two years before Vimy.

Their gift of sacrifice is preserved on the Ypres-Bruges Road and through the Geneva Protocol of 1925, which banned poison gas as a means of warfare. This was signed by such powers as Canada, Britain, Italy, The USSR and Poland. The U.S. finally got around to signing it in 1972 - conveniently at the end of the Vietnam War.

My guess is that this anniversary - and the horrible lessons it once taught us all - will be passed over and forgotten amid a circus of events more adept to what really matters today - Liberal political expediency and Conservative partisanship. Yawn.

P.S. Here's betting this gets swept under the carpet with relative ease.

2 Comments:

Blogger kilpatrick said...

I like the RAPID FIRE! website. It's scale models do an acurate portrayal of the events that took place many years ago...what kind of license do you need to produce awesome sets like that. Let's play GI-JOE.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Dick said...

I thought it somewhat appropriate. My favourite is the 'The German left flank assaults the trench line'. From the looks of that mayhem, I'd hate my trench line to be assaulted!

4:37 PM  

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