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.


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