Story type: Essay
She didn’t object to the celebrations for the anniversary of the signing of Armistice–in fact, she quite enjoyed them–but she did object to the few minutes’ silent remembrance of the Glorious Dead. It depressed her. She brought out the old “tag” so beloved of people who dread sadness, even reverential sadness, that “the world is full enough of sorrow without adding to it unnecessarily!” Not much sorrow had come her way, except the sorrow of not always getting her own way; and the anniversary of the Armistice meant for her the Victory Ball at the Albert Hall, a new dress of silver and paste diamonds, a fat supper, and that jolly feeling of believing that a real “beano” is justified because, after all, we won the war, didn’t we? Therefore, she disliked this bringing back to the world of the tragic fact–the fact of what war really means beyond the patriotic talk of politicians, the Victory celebrations, the rush to pick up the threads which had to be dropped in 1914, and the excitement of getting, or missing, or declining the O.B.E. The war is over, she keeps saying to herself, thus inferring to everybody that they ought to forget all about it now. So she ignores the maimed and the wrecked, the war poor, the sailors and the soldiers, war books, war songs, all reference to the war, in fact, and most especially the dead. “Why should we be depressed?” she keeps crying, “the world is sad enough. . . .” Well, you know the old “tag” of those who are not so much frightened of sorrow as frightened by the fact that they can neither sympathise with it nor understand it. She is an exceptional case, you declare. But alas! she isn’t. There are thousands of men and women who, behind a plea of war-weariness, really mean a desire to forget all those memories, all those obligations, all that work and faith in a New and Better World which alone make justified–this war, or any other war. She has not forgotten, so much as never realised what men suffered and endured in order that she, and all the rest of her “clan” who remained at home, might live on and rebuild the happiness and fortunes of their lives. So she dislikes to be reminded of her obligations to the Present and the Future; she dislikes to remember in reverence and sorrow the men and boys who, without this war, would now be continuing happily, safe and sound, the even tenor of their lives. “The world is sad enough,” she again reiterates, and . . . oh, well, just BOSH!