I found this picture from the Great War last year, when doing research for Deliverance. Whenever I look at it, I wish I could lift that young man out of filth and misery and put him back in his proper place with his loved ones. I hope he survived and that the rest of his life made up, to some extent, for what he endured in his youth.
On this day of remembrance, I think of my two great-uncles who served overseas in the Second World War, one of whom eventually lost his life to PTSD. I think of the five Halifax brothers memorialized in a local church, all lost in the Great War. And above all, I count my blessings.
I live in a country where I am not in daily danger because I am a female teacher who encourages girls to value their minds and abilities, or because I write novels that portray women in relationships based on love and respect. I don’t live in fear, because young men like this one lived in fear for me.
To all who served then, and to all who serve now, my heartfelt thanks.