Re­mem­ber­ing mas­sive sac­ri­fices

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS YOUR SAY - Sa­man­tha Wantling

AT 11am on the 11th of Novem­ber I al­ways have a minute’s si­lence for Re­mem­brance Day. It doesn’t mat­ter where I am, I al­ways take that mo­ment.

But, after talk­ing to one of our RSL sub-branch mem­bers yes­ter­day, it oc­curred to me, did I even know why I take that minute’s si­lence? Is Re­mem­brance Day still as rel­e­vant to­day as when first cel­e­brated as Armistice Day back in 1919?

My hus­band’s grand­fa­ther fought in World War I and spent a great deal of time in Gal­lipoli. It is a sub­ject that has al­ways fas­ci­nated our fam­ily, not only be­cause of the fam­ily con­nec­tion, but also be­cause of the over­whelm­ing loss that oc­curred there and on bat­tle­fields across Europe.

It is said be­tween nine and 13 mil­lion peo­ple lost their lives in WWI.

I just can’t grasp the enor­mity of loss that was felt around the world. The fam­i­lies that lost loved ones on both sides of the bat­tle.

His­tory has a way of re­peat­ing it­self and, if we have learnt any­thing from WWI or the en­su­ing wars and bat­tles, it should be that we need to un­der­stand the im­mense sac­ri­fice so many have made to up­hold our right to free­dom.

I re­ally do be­lieve that Re­mem­brance Day is more rel­e­vant to­day than it ever was.

We must re­mem­ber we are only able to stand as tall as we do, by stand­ing on the shoul­ders of those who came be­fore us and those who still fight to save our free­doms. Un­less we re­mem­ber, we are doomed to con­tinue to make mis­takes, to not grow and de­velop and to not ad­here to the lessons we have all been taught. By re­mem­ber­ing we are not glo­ri­fy­ing war but we are re­mem­ber­ing those who paid the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice, those who en­coun­tered the hor­rors and dev­as­ta­tion of war, those brave men and women who fought for the idea of peace.

On Satur­day, I will con­tinue to take my minute’s si­lence and re­mem­ber in the hope that, one day, I can re­mind my grand­chil­dren of the sac­ri­fices made for their free­dom and for a world of peace. We can all dream.

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