Hope lies with children
WE are embarking on a weekend of remembrance unlike any other. The centenary of the end of the Great War has prompted young and old to delve into the stories of their ancestors, thanks to the power of the internet.
Their searches have added colour and character to the grainy pictures on great-grandma’s mantelpiece, making the act of homage at tomorrow’s services – and in private moments of reflection – more personal and painful than before.
In addition to the relatives too distant for most of us now to remember, we will give thanks for the sacrifice of those who perished in the Second World War and subsequent conflicts, such as Korea, the Falklands and Afghanistan.
The legacy of more recent conflicts is in the tears of children, for there is now a generation growing up without dads, brothers, uncles and other loved ones lost in battle.
There, however, lies the seeds of hope. Today’s youngsters have the benefits of unprecedented access to records, official and unofficial, about war and its effects during the past century. Such knowledge will shape their thinking as they progress to the stage when the world is in their hands, not ours.
They might be as powerless now to hold back the warmongers as were their “cannon fodder” ancestors. But there will come a day when they are in charge - and then, perhaps, they will be able to ensure that never again will the world be plunged into global conflict, with all the senseless slaughter that entails.