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)