A point to ponder: what is the difference between love of the land and patriotism? Is there actually any point of similarity at all?
One leads to a sense of place, a feeling of belonging, security. The other is the trigger for war, fear of the other, desire for conquest.
I’ve always struggled to the cenotaph, in good weather and bad, because I remember hearing about the young men who died in the mud in the first world war, and because I had a father whose entire life from the age of 22 was coloured by what happened in the second world war. When I was a child there were old men with squeaky voices, who much later I realized had been damaged by gas attacks in WW1. Now all the old men are gone, and their replacements are youth who have been damaged by the questionable involvements of the past few years. But they are still human beings who were harmed by war. We go to the cenotaph to remember the disgrace that war is, not its “glory.” and vow that we will do what we can to prevent it. “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” ― Edmund Burke