Hope lies with chil­dren

Nottingham Post - - OPINION -

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.

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