Thursday, April 25, 2013

To honour or not to honour - that is the question.

On Anzac Day I honour all those who have suffered in war; soldiers and civilians alike because we labour under an illusion that soldiers are the ones who fight and win wars when they are merely participants, like everyone else caught up in it.

The civilians are too easily forgotten, the women, the children, the aged, the infirm were those who most often demonstrated heroism in their bid to survive.

They did not have a system of support as soldiers did and their courage and integrity are mostly ignored and forgotten, unless one trawls through photographs of war and sees them - making their way across devastated fields, through destroyed villages and towns, gaunt, by the side of roads choked with military weaponry, and broken, in the graveyards and hospitals.

And the women who worked and raised families alone and often with great suffering as their men went off to war to fight sometimes for freedom, but often for the machinations and manipulations of hegemonic leaders, deranged tyrants and opportunistic governments.

I hope for a world where wars are infrequent and are never waged by choice as so many illegal, immoral and unnecessary wars have been waged in the past decades... and still are. Anzac Day and any day which supposedly 'honours' those who fight in war would be more of an honour if we had no war.

Until that time there is a question as to whether or not the remembering and 'honouring' does more harm than good.


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