Thursday, 13 November 2014

In November We Remember - Remembrance Week

My town, as is the case in many towns, holds  a memorial service at out town memorial every year. So many people, of all ages,take the time to attend and everyone one of them observes the silence respectfully. I find it strange that a place like Leek has the tallest monument in England, but on memorial day, it does feel pretty tall.

Now, Leek is a piddly little country town in the middle of nowhere. Yet, you need have only spent a minute at that ceremony to feel just how much war has affected it. And if war can affect even a place like Leek, it really must reach its merciless claws out to everyone.

Image sourced from here.

I have spent so many hours, sitting, furious at the whole concept of war.  I wonder what the world would be like if everyone, everywhere, just put down their guns and refused to fight. The fact is that the people who die in war aren't fighting for their problems: they're fighting for the sake of problems that the jumped-up suits aren't intelligent enough to sort out themselves. And I am always fascinated when I watch how proud people are in the modern day, of their parents, or children, or siblings. In a really selfish way, I'm not all that sure that I could be. When a person signs up to join one of the defense forces, they agree to place their lives in someone else's hands. They know that they will be leaving their loved ones for long periods of time, and that in that time, their loved ones will always be prone to thinking the worse. They know that when they leave, they may be permanently leaving their children without a parent. I can't even begin to imagine what would make a person decide to do that. 

Image sourced from here.

So, when I hear people say that soldiers fight for their country, part of me thinks not. And then, I hear them. I hear soldiers speak of the horrors they went through, and the motivations that helped them to survive. And I can't help but have respect for them. Because they did what had to be done- even though that meant destroying their own lives. And it still happens today. Still, we are strangled by war and everything it carries.

Today, many of us don't so much remember as imagine those lost in wars. But, as long as the number of people that did as they did today do so always, we have hope- hope granted to us by the lives lost or tarnished.

Life won't wait for us to put the weapons down. It won't wait for us to find other ways to solve our problems. People have to decide to do that. And it may be naive for me to hope that this will one day happen, but I'd rather be naive, than pretend that war is okay.

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