Today is Remembrance Sunday.
Today is the 100th anniversary of World War One. “The war to end all wars”.
Isn’t it sad that it simply hasn’t happened?
Wars happen all over the world. The innocent are killed. We should learn from the horror of war, not continue advancing in warfare and weapons.
Whilst remembering is an incredibly important thing and Remembrance Sunday a fantastic tribute to those who gave our lives for us, let us not forget that wars themselves are wrong and not a thing to be celebrated.
Soldiers in the war had no idea what they were letting themselves in for. They thought they would be a hero, they felt admired and important, pressured not only by the government and propaganda, but their own friends, family and peers. They expected to be home by Christmas. Little did they know of the terrible conditions of the trenches, the lack of support and the loneliness and ill health it would bring (both physical and mental).
People fought this war because they believed it was the right thing to do, that they were protecting their loved ones. If they hadn’t been pressured in that way, maybe there would have been more of them alive today.
It’s a sad thought, one that is uncomfortable to dwell too long on.
Remembrance poppies by the Tower of London, huge displays, one poppy for each fallen solder. Crowds gathered to pay their respects.
I think it’s time like these where people are quick to get caught up in the respect for these fallen soldiers and can easily feel like fighting is an admirable thing, one that will be remembered and rewarded. They forget the pain and pressure behind it, the ‘politics’ of war.
Wars are a horrific thing. Yes, unfortunately we do need an army to protect ourselves and our country, but people need to sign up for the right reasons;
For feeling part of a team, for intense discipline and regime, for a whole new experience. Not to feel admired and so that you’re a hero. Because this is where people slip into a land unknown to them, somewhere scary they don’t belong, somewhere that even when they leave, will remain imprinted in their minds forever.
Pride, my friends, is a dangerous thing. Let’s be cautious of that, and celebrate their lives and learn from them a lesson; don’t live your life giving into other people’s pressures and desires, follow your heart and get where you want to be. Don’t get stuck in the no-mans land of destruction.
Happy Remembrance Sunday. Let’s live by the message the soldiers wanted us to hear, “the war to end all wars”.
Thanks for reading.