TraveLink – Lucerne

Lucerne was just another in the long list of places that Samuel Clemens beat me to. No matter. Read his comments in A Tramp Abroad, and the recommendations of PlanetWare for sights to see. Mr. Clemens surprisingly fails to mention it but we shall–the BOLERO Restaurante deserves a reservation or two.

The views from Mt. Pilatus are worth the hike or funicular ride. The lake is deceptively large but the area so beautiful, you will want to take your time and walk as much of it as possible. At least one of your walks should take you to the Pig Alcove and the Lion Monument.

A glance into the permanently shut eyes of the Lion will tell you all you need to know. 760 Swiss Guards dead. 250 survivors captured, beaten, and imprisoned. Most will be slaughtered within the month, during the September Massacres.

I stood and stared forever, I think, forever, at that Lion. I saw the broken haft of the spear protruding from his side. And knew that as bad as the wound was, the mighty Lion could have and would have risen but for an even more serious wound. His heart. Not pierced. Broken.

Mr. Clemens called it, simply,

“…the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.”

I couldn’t agree more.

It reminded me of other places, other monuments. Other mourning.

An excerpt from Matthew Halton’s 1944 Remembrance Day broadcast from Vimy, France. From the Juno Beach Centre

And it called to mind a poem, from another age, another war.

The Drum – John Scott of Amwell

I hate that drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To thoughtless youth it pleasure yields,
And lures from cities and from fields,
To sell their liberty for charms
Of tawdry lace and glitt'ring arms;
And when Ambition's voice commands,
To fight and fall in foreign lands.

I hate that drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To me it talks of ravaged plains,
And burning towns and ruin'd swains,
And mangled limbs, and dying groans,
And widow's tears, and orphans moans,
And all that Misery's hand bestows,
To fill a catalogue of woes.

Because war… war never changes.

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