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11 November 2006 @ 03:21 pm
Lest we forget.  
I feel like a bad person for getting up in the afternoon and thinking "I hope I wasn't snoring at 11am".

To me, Remembrance Day is such an important day, because, as George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". This is such a poignant sentiment now, as so many Australians have been sent away to fight and kill, and maybe die, in a war half a world away, that has so little to do with this country; a war we have little to no reason to be involved in in the first place. It's déjà vu all over again.

As most of you know, it is the end of World War One, or The Great War, that Remembrance day marks, though we have so many wars, so many dead, to remember. But it is worth remembering also, that The Great War was a war of futility, a war with no real reason or purpose. So many young men died on those battlefields, and for what? Did they save us from some great tyranny? Certainly those that gave their lives in the Second World War did that, for which we should all be forever grateful, but the First World War had no such evil to be combatted. It was just political leaders playing dice with their people's lives, and sadly they continue to roll.


Move him into the sun -
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds, -
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full-nerved, - still warm, - too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
- O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's sleep at all?

--Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918)
Some guy called Lap?harkon on November 11th, 2006 05:07 am (UTC)
If would have picked an Owen poem it probably would have been Dulce et Decorum Est.
Jacob: cemeteryyak_boy on November 11th, 2006 05:59 am (UTC)
That is a great poem, but to me, Futility does a better job of summing up how I feel about Remembrance Day.
escarpeescarpe on November 11th, 2006 06:31 am (UTC)
If I should die, think only this of me:

That there's some corner

of a foreign field

That is for ever England. There shall be

In that rich earth a richer

dust concealed.
Jessjess2903 on November 13th, 2006 09:17 am (UTC)
I agree, it was never our fight in World War I really. World War II was always our fight, I mean yes, we were originally in it to help out England but then Japan came in and we were really threatened. I saw the movie 'Kokoda' the other day and god those Japanese were brutal, it was absolutely horrible. It made me think if our leaders who bought us into this new war really saw how horrible war can be, why would you want to get involved when it isn't even our fight, just like Vietnam.
Jacobyak_boy on November 13th, 2006 01:01 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I saw Kokod, and it's quite scary how close Australia came to being invaded.
Robet Éivaayvah on December 18th, 2006 12:44 am (UTC)
Hope you don't mind me having a small rant here...

I'm not big on Remembrance Day, or war memorial things in general. "They didn't die in vain" is a common mantra at these remembrance events -- a euphemism for "they died for a reason". It rarely seems true. WW2 was probably one of the few wars that had to be fought.

That, and the dead are dead. Honouring them won't make their situation any more appropriate. Thinking of those who died in the past is a distraction from those living today, who need protection.

I agree that we should learn from the mistakes of the past. But a barbecue on Anzac Day and a couple minutes of silence on Remembrance Day seem to be empty gestures.