Re­mem­brance Day all about loss

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

We need only con­sider the in­ter­na­tional rhetoric, di­plo­matic name-call­ing and sabre-rat­tling of the past 12 months to un­der­stand why there is still a need for Re­mem­brance Day.

The oc­ca­sion, above any­thing else, is an an­nual com­mu­nity mes­sage that re­gard­less of mo­ti­va­tion, war ul­ti­mately is an­other name for hor­ror, death and de­struc­tion, of­ten on a mas­sive scale.

To pause for a minute’s si­lence at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month might seem al­most corny and point­less con­sid­er­ing it is his­tor­i­cally based on some­thing that hap­pened a cen­tury ago.

Many of us have been guilty of think­ing when the time ar­rives: ‘Re­ally? Do I have to stop what I’m do­ing at this mo­ment? Does it re­ally mat­ter?’

Prob­a­bly not, it is after all only a sym­bolic ges­ture. But be­ing aware that it is hap­pen­ing and why mat­ter.

The re­al­ity is, Re­mem­brance Day is much more than a sim­ple re­flec­tion on a mo­ment in time – when the guns fell silent on the West­ern Front – it’s an im­por­tant tap on the shoul­der to re­mind us to con­sider the peo­ple who died or suf­fered dur­ing all wars and armed con­flicts. In our case it is about Aus­tralians.

Un­like other war-time com­mem­o­ra­tions, which ex­pand to con­sider hu­man feats such as re­silience and courage as well as re­flect­ing on sac­ri­fice, Re­mem­brance Day is sim­ply about loss.

In Aus­tralia it might be about re­gional it’s hap­pen­ing does towns such as Dunolly, which all but lost its male work­force on the bat­tle­fields of Europe in the First World War.

In Rus­sia, it might be about the death of more than 20-mil­lion peo­ple, sol­diers and civil­ians, dur­ing the Sec­ond World War. The ex­am­ples are many.

Re­mem­brance Day is in essence, a de­ter­rent, a re­minder of what can hap­pen if we give in to frus­tra­tion at the in­ter­na­tional de­bat­ing ta­ble, throw the pa­pers of di­plo­matic dis­cus­sion into the air and in­stead pick up a gun.

For po­lit­i­cal lead­ers around the globe, es­pe­cially in­di­vid­u­als and groups in charge of mon­strous armies and weaponry and oth­ers who can in­flu­ence th­ese peo­ple, the Re­mem­brance Day re­minder is crit­i­cal.

But in the end, it is the hu­man col­lec­tive, the you and me of the world that de­ter­mines how long the mes­sage res­onates.

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