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Least We Forget 90 Years, Later Still Remembering

Professor Arnie Greenberg

 On Nov 11th we commemorate the fallen from all wars. WWI ended ninety years ago. Take time out for a minute of silence on the eleventh hour of the eleventh month… That’s what we do in Canada besides wearing a red poppy, and in France and other countries, Nov 11th is still a public holiday

Next time you’re in France, take a short trip to one of the War Cemeteries. It is an absolutely gripping thing to do.

Towns that we might never have known are conjured up when we think of what was called “The war to end all wars…” Amiens, Belleau Wood, Armentieres, Galipoli, the Piave, Verdun, Mulhouse, Chateua Thierry and Vimy Ridge come to mind and now we are reminded of a battle that cost the allies dearly. It is a name recently emblazoned on all local movie marquees. A new film brings back the horrors that occurred when 4000 Canadians gave there lives at PASSCHENDAELE…


But this was not the only battle and soldiers from the United States, India, Great Britain, Australia and Canada joined the French to hold the lines north of Paris. Thousands gave their lives on both sides but Paris never fell. Today, just north of Paris from the farms of Picardie to the Eastern borders of France, one can visit row upon row of graves ‘for a cause’.

At this time of the year, all over Canada, veterans of foreign wars sell poppies to commemorate the deeds done in foreign wars. The fact that the film Passchendaele came out in Canada is connected with Nov. 11th,

Remembrance Day. Its not that I want to recommend the film which has incredible images of the battle ground, I mention it because it does speak of the anguish and futility of war. What started in long before 1918 still goes on on different fronts for different reasons…

Lest We Forget…

The first time I saw the manicured cemeteries was near Belleau Wood. Since then I have seen a few dozen even extending to Italy, Belgium and even Thailand where very young men gave there lives.                                                                 

It is hard to believe that this is what Amiens, France looked like after the destructive battle.

This time of the year we pause to remember so that those who died will not have died in vain in France, Italy Turkey, Belgium…

Pictures and books can’t do justice to the carnage and useless suffering. At Belleau Wood alone there were 9,777 casualties of whom almost 1,900 died.  Today the highway separates the fallen allies from the fallen enemy.

Today we proudly wear our poppies and visit a cenotaph where a bugler blows taps and we take a minute of silence to remember. How can we ever forget?

We remember all those who fought and those who died. Their efforts were for a just cause and one cannot underestimate the anguish of those they left behind. Considering that the age for enlistment was merely eighteen we are remembering boys, not yet fully mature who in many cases signed up freely to fight the wars designed by older men.

Grantland Rice, a newspaper reporter, put it well when he wrote:

TWO SIDES OF WAR (All wars))

All wars are planned by older men

In council rooms apart,

Who call for greater armament

And map the battle chart.

But out along the shattered field

Where golden dreams turn grey,

How very young the faces were

Where all the dead men lay.

Portly and solemn in their pride,

The elders cast their vote

For this or that, or something else,

That sounds a martial note.

But where their sightless eyes stare out

Beyond life’s vanished toys.

I’ve noticed nearly all the dead

Were hardly more than boys.

Consider the smaller populations of the countries listed and study the number of (military only) dead, wounded or missing in WW I

Australia                  210,320

Austria-Hungary 5,377,283

Belgium                    552,000

Britain                   3,050,000

Canada                     206,200

France                    5,920,650

Germany                5,768,000

Italy                        1,424,660

Russia                     6,700,000

Turkey                       650,000

United States             262,725

Note: This is only a partial list. War total

DEAD        7,996,888

Wounded 21,755,196

Let’s remember them all…

Arnie Greenberg

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You can Contact Professor Arnie Greenberg at


Over the past few years, Professor Greenberg has traveled with groups to France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague and both Sorrento and the Bay of Naples plus most of Sicily. His tours traveled to the far reaches of the globe including Italy and most of China (Beijing -Hong Kong) and to Russia where his group cruised the waters from St.Petersburg to Moscow. 

"He took a group to Greece and another to northern Russia. In Nov 07 he took a tour group to much of India and ended his tour groups by revisiting France. He now travels with his wife and friends. They winter in Argentina or San Miguel Mexico.  His newly found spare time is taken up with his painting and writing. "I must write every day." His current work is a cautionary manual for would-be tour leaders..  "So You Want To Be A Tour Leader." 

Arnie now travels with friends. He continues writing Travel articles about unusual places but often concentrates on novel writing. Two books based on French Art will be published this year.  Keep reading his web for travel ideas.  His next novel HELLSTORM'S Folly, will be available this fall. He now lives in British Columbia.

Go to: or contact him directly at

(More about the writer.)


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