Death for Your Country
Is it glorious to die for your country?.... This question has been posed to many young people about to embark on war although the answer has usually been 'yes' in response to their country due mainly to the fact that the government instills it in the people of the country to support one's country and one way is to send young abled bodied men into the army. If you were one individual that was not in favour of fighting for your country you would surely become an outcast by the countries people. To avoid ridicule and becoming outcasted by the people living around you, you would join the army just in the thought that you were obligated to for the sole sake of your country. Such thoughts were reinforced by the government promotion of propaganda. Glorifying death is not needed to be taught and should be up to the sole individual. School systems should teach an unbiased point of view of war to enable the child to make their own decision to fight for one's country. Within the education system it was instructed to the teachers to teach the children at a young age during the brink of war to instill that their the life of the country and for them to defend their country against the enemy. Teachers showed being in a army was representing honour and the pride of the country. Guilt was laid on the students who showed rebellion by the teacher. Many times the teacher would try to show a soldier that looks happy and content trying to represent being a soldier makes you happy and content. Many young inexperienced soldiers were sent to training camps near the battle fields that they would soon be sent to fight, for their country and their life. The training camps were situated on similar enviroments that resembled the battle fields of where the fighting would take place. Reinforced displine to the young and ignorant men. Trench warfare is when many soldiers of opposing countries fight against each other across a vast desolate, dirt covered land, and the only sense of cover was to crouch in a usually water logged trench. The sense of death engulfed your very soul, the constant bombardment of shells echo in your mind long after it had ceased. On the Western front conditions were horrible to say the least, stench of death remained constantly in the air, bodies riddled with bullet wounds lay across the bottoms of the trenches, dismembered bodies scattered across the landscape and the sounds of agonizing and dying men echo across the battle grounds. Very limited rations offering very little in flavour was the only food available to the soldiers. Often raining, it caused muddy, damp conditions. The men staying in a trench filled with water and muddy conditions often caused such diseases as trench foot and trench mouth. Contagious diseases were spread quickly. Lack of cleaniness gave many soldiers lice and rats would run through the trenches feeding on the garbage and human wastes. Thousands of soldiers would line up under the cover of their trenches for a stretch of miles and wait for the leading officer to give the signal for the charge. When the signal was given the thousands of soldiers would all try to run across the no-man's land to attempt the breach of the enemies trench. This charge would be under constant machine gun fire and mortar shelling by the enemy. These kind of attacks usually failed maily due to the fact the the charging men had to run to get to the enemies trench was far enough for the enemy to use it's constant shelling and it's machine gun fire to dwindle the attacking army significant enough for the attacking army to retreat. Counter attacks were quickly attempted after the attacks. The counter attacks were similiar to the actual attacks except the difference was that the counter attack involved the killing of the retreating of the enemy instead of attacking someone under the cover of the trench. During the war all soldiers were affected either physically or phsycologically. Shell shock was an ongoing sickness affecting many soldiers in the trenches. The constant bombardment of mortar shelling became so defeaning and monotonous the sounds of shelling remained with the soldier even when there was no shelling. Such cases became so severe for some the soldier would go in fits of rage and fear at the very same instantance. Virtually all soldiers felt homesick at one time or another. The soldiers being out on the battle fronts for a long time soon forgot the propaganda beliefs the country had instilled the soldiers, instead the soldiers just wanted to survive their tour of duty however long it would be. Death had been experienced and seen by the soldiers on the front for a long time that the themes had become relative to their daily life on the front. Coming back to their homes the soldiers had received and learned of a new perpective on war. It was that when face to face with death the political beliefs that were held were irrevalant when trying to survive in the war. Glorification of death is ridiculous unless you were being attacked and threat of death was present that would be another story but to die for a something many miles away is something that the individual must take in consideration in when making his or her decision. I personally would not risk death if friends and family were not at risk. Since our country has become less militarized since WWII the need for military personnel has not been as necessary. But as mentioned before if the country I lived was under a threat of takeover I believe I would take up arms to defend against the people who would try to attack. Other than that the physcological and physical damages soldiers endure would deter me from joining any army.