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The Truth of War...Timeless

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I found this letter written by a WWI soldier. His words are as true today as they were when he first wrote them.

Lt. Siegfried Sassoon.3rd Batt: Royal Welsh Fusiliers.July, 1917.

I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority because I believe that the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe that the war upon which I entered as a war of defence and liberation has now become a war of agression and conquest. I believe that the purposes for which I and my fellow soldiers entered upon this war should have been so clearly stated as to have made it impossible to change them and that had this been done the objects which actuated us would now be attainable by negotiation.

I have seen and endured the sufferings of the troops and I can no longer be a party to prolonging these sufferings for ends which I believe to be evil and unjust. I am not protesting against the conduct of the war, but against the political errors and insincerities for which the fighting men are being sacrificed.

On behalf of those who are suffering now, I make this protest against the deception which is being practised upon them; also I believe it may help to destroy the callous complacency with which the majority of those at home regard the continuance of agonies which they do not share and which they have not enough imagination to realise.

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Sassoons letter was distributed throughout the British establishment, was printed in the Bradford Pioneer on July 27, 1917, and reprinted in the London Times four days later. The letter caused a great stir, including a public reading in the British House of Commons. Sassoon was soon declared mentally ill (thus unfit to face court-martial), and was sent to a hospital to be treated for shell shock.

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In loosely related story that's funny and sad...

Amputee may get better

Lance-corporal Johno Lee, an British veteran of the Afghanistan War applied for and was denied a disabled parking permit three times. Meanwhile, he has racked up 800 in fines for parking in reserved spots so he could unload his wheelchair.

Lance-corporal Lee, from Coddington, said when he first applied to Nottinghamshire County Council for a blue badge he was advised he was young and may get better.

His right leg was amputated below the knee after he was caught up in an explosion in Helmand Province in 2008.

He said: I replied that they possibly didnt quite understand the situation and that I thought it unlikely that my leg would grow back.

After the local newspaper, the Newark Advertiser heard of his story, a reporter contacted officials who are now looking into the matter. The fines already levied against Lee have been rescinded.

Letemdangle Uploaded 09/03/2010
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