I was a student when I drew this. A friend was humming the words and opening melody of what he said was a Guns N’ Roses song of the same title. I’d not heard the GnR song at that time. I listened to the words my friend was humming: “Look at the young men dying, Life was never this before”. They later inspired me to paint that picture.
The scene is supposed to capture a moment of grief, where a young man lays dying in the arms of his comrades. There’s a rose at the bottom right. I added it there to encapsulate this story in my mind as I painted the picture — while on patrol with his comrades, the soldier (just a boy, really) saw a rose lying on the floor. He wanted to pick it up for his mother. He was shot by a sniper. His comrades rush to his aid, but it’s too late. All the rest of the child-soldiers weep for their fallen comrade, and perhaps as well as for themselves.