A Face From the Past

This is a picture of my great-grandfather, Robert Washington McLean:

Robert Washington McLean WW1

He was a veteran of World War I, so this is a photo of him in uniform I think. I know very little about my great-grandfather though; he died when I was an infant, and I have only seen one photo of us together.

Still, it’s interesting to think about our connection. He lived in a very different time than me, and I sometimes wonder what life was like for him as a young man, fighting in such a terrible war. This year is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, and I wonder what he was going through in those trenches with chemical weapons, machine guns and so on.

Australian infantry small box respirators Ypres 1917

If I could meet my great-grandfather again, I wonder what I would tell him about the future. Many things have changed in 100 years, but also many things remain the same: we still have wars, we still have terrorism, and we still have rich nations vs. poor nations. The technology has improved a lot, but people probably are still the same.

Anyway, it’s interesting to think about our ancestors and the stories they had, and maybe what they would think of the world today.


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

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