War is not good for children and other living things

April 26, 2008 at 2:07 am 1 comment

“It was just hell on earth. The guns never stopped. Shells never stopped, not hardly for a minute. There wasn’t a flat bit of earth anywhere. Craters everywhere. Craters cutting the lips of other craters” BBC Archive                                                              

Yesterday was ANZAC Day in this part of the world. Our war remembrance day  has become more and more popular over the last few years. It is clear that we are not forgetting.

As a history student, the story of the first world war shocked me. The incompetence of the generals. The incredible loss of life. The inhumane attitude towards the  suffering of the troops.  The ‘war fever’ leading up to 1918, and the persecution of those who chose not to fight.

“That whole wood was lined with machine guns from one end to the other. The company went over 230 strong and only 11 privates survived. This was ridiculous. It had never been planned at all” BBC Archive

On ANZAC Day, as we remember those who lost their lives in these terrible wars, I hope that we also remember that war is about suffering.  I hope, while we remember the sacrifice and gallantry of the ‘glorious dead’, that we don’t forget that war is not about glory, its about death. We must remember the mothers that lost sons, wives that losts husbands, children that lost fathers.

I hope while we stand quietly at dawn, rather than pride in our hearts we have sorrow. And a commitment to peace.

“Do they matter? Those dreams from the pit?…

You can drink and forget and be glad,

And people won’t say that you’re mad;

For they’ll know that you’ve fought for your country

And no one will worry a bit.”

                                              Siegfried Sassoon

 

 

 

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. renaissancemama  |  April 26, 2008 at 6:15 am

    I’ve never heard of ANZAC day, but I’d like to learn more. Thank you for this true and heartbreaking reminder of what war is really about.

    Reply

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