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So said John Dryden, These days, so much is said about Civil War and that the second Civil War is coming to America. Civil War is brewing in Australia, New Zealand, countries in Europe - everywhere that has been taken over by the fear of fear. And patience is wearing thin.

I wonder: do people realise what civil war means? Do we understand what happens when a country is at war with itself? We are only in the opening skirmishes. The drums of war are rolling but they are still in the distance. 

Families are seeing the early stages of this great divide. This insidious fear campaign that makes us distrustful of each other and fear of the unknown. Because that is what covid is. It is the silent assassin that stalks us in the shopping centre; the communities we cherish and the friendships we value. Around our family tables and our hearth in our homes.

We are trying to bridge divides and hold out olive branches in the hope that we can save what is left of our unity.

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I recently stumbled on a video clip of two older gentlemen talking about when they served in the American Civil War. What is extraordinary is that it was filmed in 1929 when they were aged 94 and 84. 

One commenter said:

There were a few stories of biological families divided and fighting each other. Officers who graduated West Point together too. States like Maryland that were divided fought each other. Buddies who went to college together and so on. The war was referred to as Brother on Brother.

I was struck by what I was able to see and hear: real soldiers talking about their real war and how such moments should be treasured and kept for future generations. They talk about their service and their commander, General Sterling Price. They talk about how long they served. " “As long as we lived, as long as the war lasted”.

It was a statement that made me start to think: we have been in a series of skirmishes for 2 years. So many have already surrendered and laid down their weapons without so much as a fight - let alone a battle or an all out war. 

The American Civil War saw two ideologies, two beliefs, two opposing sides of a political and moral divide and that division caused a civil war that lasted for too many years and cost too much in human tragedy. 

As one person said 

" Those veterans in the video lived and fought in the worst possible conditions a soldier could live in. They lived on hardtack, and pokeweed when the food ran low. They fought with .58 caliber minie ball rounds. The bullets would shatter bone like a fragmentation grenade. This meant that if you were shot through the arm or leg, you had to have what remained of your arm or leg amputated with a dovetail saw that took about 2 minutes to cut through by a skilled surgeon. (There were no skilled surgeons on a battlefield). Bullets that had to be removed were done in an assembly line fashion, usually dug out with a finger. Hands and instruments were not washed, so the wounds would get infected. They were issued one set of uniforms, so if they needed new clothing, they had to take the uniforms off of deceased comrades. Lice was a common, since there was no real place to bathe, so field sanitation consisted of boiling your clothing, and washing yourself in the nearest stream or river. Unfortunately, most latrines were constructed upstream of the camp, so many solders became sick after bathing, or filling their canteens with water from the stream. "

If our skirmishes progress beyond this current situation where the unvaccinated are removed from so called normal society and that Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations become restricted to those who have complied with the fear campaign; when normality crumbles and livelihoods destroyed because someone believes that the government has every right to legislate compliance; then all that is left is for the people who believe that THEY are right and the folk on the other side of the equation believe that THEY are right, civil war is the only option.

 

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By the way, The “Dutch” to whom he refers were actually German-Americans. They told Missourians that they were “Deutsch,” which was misunderstood as “Dutch.”

These are two Civil War veterans, aged 84 and 94, talking about fighting in the Civil War. Filmed in 1929, at the time of the Civil War the two men would have been 16 years old and 26 years old when the war started in 1861. The General Price they mentioned is none other than General Sterling Price: On August 10, 1861, at the Battle of Wilson's Creek outside Springfield, Price’s and McCulloch’s combined force defeated Lyon, forcing the federals’ withdrawal. At Wilson’s Creek, Lyon earned the unenviable distinction of being the first Union general killed in the war. In September, Price marched northward, driving from the border counties Kansas Jayhawkers under the command of James H. Lane. Price then marched to Lexington, where his army besieged and forced the surrender of a 3,500-man fortified garrison of federal troops and Home Guard under James A. Mulligan. Pressed by troops under John C. Frémont, commander of the Department of the West, Price soon retreated into the southern counties, where he attended the “rump session” of the legislature and voted for secession in Neosho. After a brief occupation of central Missouri, Price and his state troops went into winter camp near Springfield, where they transferred into Confederate service and in February withdrew to Arkansas. 

 

When brother and brother fight because of ideology and beliefs and sons are pitted against their fathers and mothers distraught over their son's divided loyalties, we have the makings of a Civil War.

Is sitting on the fence an option? I wonder.....

 

I’m neither left or right 

I’m just staying home tonight 

Getting lost in that hopeless little screen. 

The feel that this ain’t exactly real 

or it’s real, but it ain’t exactly there,

and after years of a rising tide of the wars against disorder 

the sirens night and day 

the fires of the homeless the ashes of the gay,

 

 It sure didn't work on 7 December 1941,,,,,,

as I wrote a year ago

As we ponder the significance of that fateful date all those years ago, I cannot help but think of what the people in the Pearl Harbor Base did after the attack on their beloved America. 

They didn't sit back and cry or moan and say " gosh, that's a shame. " 

“There was nobody on the Sacramento who was out of control, crying for their mother, or crying at all,” Kennedy said, adding that everyone did “what they were trained to do. I was real proud of my ship.”

Paul Ivan Kennedy died on August 21, 2017. He was 96 years old. 

 

The attack at Pearl Harbor was both a blessing and a curse, depending upon which side of the pond you lived. For the Americans, it marked the beginning of a bloody war that resulted in so very many dead and wounded; so much misery and pain. For the British, Australians, New Zealanders and other allies, it was an injection of much needed support  - both moral and material. 

We, sitting here today in our homes around the world, must take sober reflection about dates of National and International importance: without marking these days and moments from history, we will forget and that would be a travesty.

WE MUST NEVER FORGET.

And never forget the fury of the patient man. 

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