Our fallen he­roes

Re­mem­brance Day on Nov 11 started as a trib­ute to those who died dur­ing World War I.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - R.AGE -

Re­mem­brance Day on Nov 11 started as a trib­ute to those who died dur­ing World War I.

At the eleventh hour

At the very last moment, just when you think it’s too late.

World War I ended of­fi­cially “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” of 1918. How­ever, this is not where this ex­pres­sion comes from.

The tim­ing of the armistice was in­spired by the Bi­ble story The Para­ble of the Work­ers in the Vine­yard as told by Saint Matthew.

This al­le­gory that teaches God ac­cepts ev­ery­one equally no mat­ter how long they have been faith­ful is pre­sented as a hir­ing story where the boss pays ev­ery labourer the same amount, whether they worked from early morn­ing or only from “the 11th hour”.

Ex­am­ple: The vet ap­peared at the eleventh hour and saved our pet dog.

If you want peace, pre­pare for war

Ad­vice that could be stated as the tougher you are, the less likely some-

Re­mem­brance Day ser­vice in Syd­ney on Nov 11 last year. Re­mem­brance Day is held to com­mem­o­rate the sign­ing of the Armistice which for­mally ended World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. The English lan­guage is re­plete with ex­pres­sions on war and peace. one is likely to at­tack you. Some­times short­ened to peace through strength.

All war­like so­ci­eties have lived by this maxim so the con­cept is prob­a­bly as old as the first time Ne­olithic vil­lagers dis­cussed whether they should make swords rather than ploughshares.

One of the old­est writ­ten ver­sions of this ex­pres­sion in Europe ap­pears in Publius Flav­ius Vegetius Re­na­tus’ mil­i­tary man­u­als writ­ten around 380AD. Vegetius was a Ro­man sol­dier and aris­to­crat but not much else is known about him.

In Asia, the ear­li­est men­tion ap­pears in The Art of War. It is com­monly at­trib­uted to Sun Tzu, the Chi­nese mil­i­tary ge­nius from the 6th cen­tury BC. How­ever, schol- ars think it may have been writ­ten 200 years later by fol­low­ers who prof­ited from his lessons.

Ex­am­ple: We’ve got no hos­pi­tals but we’re spend­ing mil­lions on arms. I sup­pose it’s a case of if you want peace, pre­pare for war.

To keep your peace

To say noth­ing. To re­frain from say­ing some­thing up­set­ting.

This an­cient ex­pres­sion has re­mained pop­u­lar for al­most 1000 years. It sug­gests both mental tran­quil­lity as well as lit­eral si­lence.

It’s un­likely to go out of fashion since the Com­mon Book of Prayer in the 1550s made it as part of mar­riage vows, ex­hort­ing any­one who ob­jects to the mar­riage to speak up at a cer­tain point of the cer­e­mony or “for­ever hold his peace”.

In Scot­land, a syn­ony­mous ex­pres­sion is to haud yer wheesht which trans­lates to hold your breath and is usu­ally used to mean shut up!

Ex­am­ple: The new boss was a dis­as­ter but Rob de­cided to keep his peace.

To keep the peace

To main­tain or­der. Usu­ally ap­plied to po­lice and other peo­ple with a le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity for civic or­der.

In the 1300s, the word peace was used to im­ply law. Sher­iffs, mag­is­trates and other of­fi­cials were called of­fi­cers of the peace.

Mod­ern Jus­tices Of The Peace are peo­ple who have no le­gal train­ing but who have limited le­gal pow­ers. In some coun­tries, they deal with ad­min­is­tra­tive work such as Cer­ti­fied True Copies. In oth­ers, they pre­side over courts that deal with mi­nor crimes like van­dal­ism.

Ex­am­ple: In the event of nu­clear war­fare, civil ser­vants will help keep the peace.

Sol­dier of for­tune

Some­one who fights for any­one who will pay. A ro­man­tic way to re­fer to a mer­ce­nary.

In sto­ries, the sol­dier of for­tune is a happy-go-lucky man who fights the good fight for peo­ple who are wor­thy, such as right­ful heirs to the throne who’ve been ousted by wicked impostors. Al­ter­na­tively, he fights for the sheer ad­ven­ture of it. Think The Seven Sa­mu­rai and The ATeam.

On the other hand, the mer­ce­nary in fic­tion is more of­ten a crim­i­nal type who is bound to be cruel to the old, the sick, the weak, and the help­less. Think the bad guys who have been hired to guard the mines and loot in Blood Di­a­mond, or Colonel Miles Quar­itch from Avatar.

Ex­am­ple: Jack spends half his life par­ty­ing and the other half as a sol­dier of for­tune.

Hawks and doves

Hawks are peo­ple who are ag­gres­sive and ea­ger for war, while doves are peace­able and in­clined to find non-vi­o­lent so­lu­tions to con­flict.

You’d think that this im­age comes straight from the days when aris­to­crats hunted with the aid of hawks and fal­cons yet sur­pris­ingly the mil­i­taris­tic hawks came about in the 1960s.

Sim­i­larly, doves have sym­bol­ised peace and gen­tle­ness since an­cient times in Europe and the Mid­dle East. How­ever, the idea of doves be­ing peo­ple against war only ap­peared around 1910.

Ex­am­ple: Our par­lia­ment is evenly split be­tween hawks and doves.

Solemn re­minder:

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