This swapping back and forth between the horrific and the mundane or even jolly, is not uncharacteristic of common ways of ways coping with chronic trauma: the black humour of a doctors' mess, for example. Humour is known to be an effective coping strategy, associated with a lower risk of post traumatic stress disorder.
What we need to do now is go further... to imagine, and then create, a world without war. With the hideous death-toll in Gaza, the chaos in Syria and Ukraine, the turmoil in Libya, that might seem a long way from the reality of 2014. But the important first step is to say "this is possible", and then to start to plan the actions needed to bring a peaceful world into being.
We remembered too not just those from the First World War, but all wars past and present including those serving right now in Afghanistan and other Operations around the world. And, of course, it's not just the soldiers themselves but the families that give their all in support of those brave men and women.
Countless brave birds served and died with our Allied forces. They crossed battle lines and helped influence key battle decisions by delivering vital messages. These intelligent, gentle birds were the first recipients of the Dickin Medal - animals' Victoria Cross - for contributing to the rescue of thousands of human aviators.
As Randolph Bourne said when writing about World War I in 1918, war is the health of the state. As America's power has grown, so has its propensity for war. Regardless of the debates about the justness or morality of war, the numbers have shown peace to be the exception in America while war has been the rule, making this last century since the start of World War I undeniably a century of warfare.
Among the lesser reported aspects of the war on the western front during World War I is the role played by aircraft. Britain manufactured 55,000 planes during the war of which only 10 remain in airworthy condition. Four of these belong to the Shuttleworth Collection in Bedfordshire and have been restored to their original construction.
My first reaction to this news was that I should read something substantial about one of the biggest conflicts in human history; perhaps Max Hastings huge new book on the subject, or some of that famous poetry that everyone is supposed to read in British schools. What about the extensive reports that all British newspapers are featuring about WW1?
Please do not point at me for not wearing a poppy or call my friends ignorant for not visiting war graves in Flanders or Normandy as that does not make us any way less respectful; for the biggest mark of respect my generation can leave is one that looks beyond our differences and in the process creates a fairer and more peaceful world, for everyone.
The First World War is not normally remembered for its epic battles outside the tranches of Europe, as there was nothing Ypres-like about, say, 'Edwardian' Southeast Asia. We just don't associate it to be as globally engulfing as World War Two. Yet, it would a mistake to think that there were geographical limits to the range in which this first (only if one discounts the Seven Years War) recognisable 'world war' was fought.
Another day, and another journalist has laid into the young generation of today, insinuating they are weak and without moral fibre. As Jeremy Paxman put it this week, they are considered: 'materialistic, self-obsessed, hedonistic ... because of the decline of the traditional notion of duty and the influence of social media'.