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This may be a day late, but I was attending a war memorial thing yesterday and *ahem* forgot.
Yesterday was Armistice Day, and I was a bit surprised to find NOTHING in he whole of LO reminding ANYONE of this. Admittedly, I was on LO yesterday, but... you do know that had those milllions of people not sacrificed their lives there would probably not be a LO to go on?
Anyway: I would like to remind everyone that armistice day was-:rolleyes: yesterday and we remembered our dead kinsfolk yesterday.
Sorry for the lateness, but I felt someone had to mention this and better late than never.
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I don't know about everyhwere else but on saturday (11th of the 11th) in Australia there was a minute's silence, as there always is. It was right in the middle of the Pussycat Dolls or whatever on Video Hits The instant it finished an ad flashed up for Xbox 360 and I thought: "Huh. I wonder what ad I would be seeing, if any, if the allies had lost the two big wars?"
I work at the Australian War Memorial and sometimes the magnitude of what happened in the past astonishes me. It is so sad. We complain about little things like terrorism but more Australians were killed in one hour during a particularly bad offensive on the Somme than died in Vietnam, Korea and the Gulf War(s) combined.
Over 5400. In one hour. They just charged over the top in 4 waves into the machine guns of a German bunker, because that's what they were ordered to do. The colonel commanding noted that all of his best officers were killed. He even tried to save one 21 year old captain who had graduated top of his class at Duntroon and had the potential to be the "Australian Kitchener." The request for transfer was denied by the British High Command and the captain was killed in the first wave. 3 years after the war ended the colonel committed suicide.
I read an excerpt from one of the few survivors of the attack. He was in the final wave and he said that as he and his mates jumped over the top they expected to see the previous waves ahead of them, but no-one was standing up and there were just dismembered bodies everywhere :cry:
I had never heard of this night before last week, and I work at the AWM. It was without doubt the worst day in Australian history. Not military history, but history.
Thinking about World War I makes me sick. Nothing before or since can hold a candle to that horror. It should be remembered.
When literaly millions of people give thier lives for your country and it's freedom the sacrifice of a minute seems a paltry sacrifice. I wore a Poppy and attended the silence but no more than that.
My Grandfather though went to the Cenotaph in London, he's not a WWI Veteran, but Rememberance Day now seems more of a reminder of all the War dead, not so much WWI. He goes to grieve for fallen companions (an ex-Royal Marine) but to me, an 18 year old with a 'teenage invincibility complex' war seems a remote thing, to be played on a computer, with re-starts if you die, no horrific woundings/dismemberment and no screaming/crying for your mother. Maybe if games were more like that the world would be a better place?
Every time you read this sig: a fairie dies!
Maybe this is just the slight needling of having my behaviour challenged which is bringing out my argumentative side, but the influenza pandemic just after world war 1 killed about 70 million people worldwide. That's about ten times the military casualties sustained by all sides during the entire war itself.
I've never bothered with war remembrance myself. Despite temptation, I'm not going to launch into the usual deconstructionist rhetoric because it's irreverent and is just going to piss people off in this case, but suffice to say, I find it trite and contrived to condense all our mourning for all the human suffering and death of history into 2 short minutes. Personally, I'd suggest that if you want to experience that suffering you find someone dying of cancer, or heart disease or even just old age.. They're probably as terrified and miserable as any soldier being marched to his death in the trenches, and they're more likely to need your attention and care than someone whose been dead for over 80 years.
Edit: Didn't mean that one to sound quite so bitter, but at the end of the day, death doesn't just happen to soldiers in war. It happens to everyone, and I never got this bizarre need to distinguish a death from a shrapnel wound from a death by stomach cancer, as if one is somehow more important.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; November 14th, 2006 at 00:18.
I watcehd the video clip of Goodnight Saigon, and wore a poppy.Acutally... I posted in the Anzac thread, and in the "veteran's day" thread about the topic. So we do remember.Yesterday was Armistice Day, and I was a bit surprised to find NOTHING in he whole of LO reminding ANYONE of this. Admittedly, I was on LO yesterday, but... you do know that had those milllions of people not sacrificed their lives there would probably not be a LO to go on?
Rememberance day is a day dear to my heart.That is disgusting. And so true. World War One: A whole lot of people dieing, and not alot of anything acutally getting done.Over 5400. In one hour. They just charged over the top in 4 waves into the machine guns of a German bunker, because that's what they were ordered to do. The colonel commanding noted that all of his best officers were killed. He even tried to save one 21 year old captain who had graduated top of his class at Duntroon and had the potential to be the "Australian Kitchener." The request for transfer was denied by the British High Command and the captain was killed in the first wave. 3 years after the war ended the colonel committed suicide.
Lest We Forget. :sleep:
It is about giving your life for your country.
You don't give your life by contracting/developing cancer. Yes you should do what you can to help the suffering of all sorts, but war is something active by man and should also be remembered even by those unable to really contemplate.
Rememberance Sunday & Armistace Day are very important to me. But so is the Charity, 'Cancer Research'.
The poppy appeal helps lots of veterans that can feel abandoned by the state after being through needless or neccessary war, and so that is important too.
Also, you must remember that the flu pandemic wouldn't have been so bad if everyone's infrastructure wasn't ruined by said war.
The thing about Armistace Day is that it happened to Nations at the same time summed up at a point in time and people can relate to it socially.
The thing about cancer/disease is that it happens to individuals all the time and all over the place on small or grand scales and so isn't quite as easily put together in one point.
Both important, but totally different things.
Last edited by Jon Quixote; November 14th, 2006 at 09:55.
Cervantes: In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.
It is good to see that people out there do still remember the importance of Rememberance Day. As a member of the military and someone that has served overseas on operations and is willing to again, it is good to know that the younger generations are remembering those that have worn the uniform before me. While Rememberance Day is not just about Aussie soldiers, it is our opportunity to think about the sacrifice that they made, and hopefully learn from the mistakes that were made back then. As my high school history teacher said, "those that do not study history, are doomed to repeat it".
Remember Day in my opinion is important I have walked the battlefield of Gallipoli and had the rare privledge (granted by the govt of Turkey) of staying at the battlefields overnight. I have seen the grave stone of Simpson (John Kirkpatrick), seen the trenches were the first Australian Victoria Cross was earned (Albert Jacka) and I know some of the stories of the men that lived fought and died there. I will never say that war is right, far from it, but it would seem that it is part of our make up. But once you go to a place like Gallipoli you realise how horrible it would have been and the sacrifice that these men made, voluntarily. I personally hope it is never forgotten so that it will never be repeated.
In saying these things it is important to understand that Australians have through their actions as part of the ANZAC legend and involvment in WWI and ever major military conflict since then, have earnt an impressive reputation, not just as fighters but as good people. To this day the Turkish people embrace us as they would a brother, and in that I am not exaggerating in the slightless. Below is a picture of a momument that they erected to honor OUR dead, it stands in ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli.
So at the end of the day 1 minute on the 11th of the 11th each year is not that much to ask and if you are not sure what to think during that minute, the ode to rememberance is a good place to start.
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
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War memorials are much more private in Germany, as you might well imagine, and great pains are taken to ensure that the younger members of society learn not to glorify such conflicts.
It doesn't really surprise me when I see other countries glorifying their war-dead, but it does seem foreign to me.
When I was in the army and when I was recently in Iraq (not in the army, though) I saw some gruesome things that I don't actually think anyone should remember, except to know that it probably shouldn't happen again.
Politicians glorify wars. Everyone else involved with battle just remembers what a severed arm looks like.
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Why do you need it put together in one point? Sooner or later, you'll come into contact with death in your personal life, and then you'll have to deal with it much more surely and much more personally than any rememberance ceremony.Originally Posted by Jon Quixote
That's a universal human tradgedy.. It's far more worth commemorating, to my mind, than any kind of self indulgent catharsis about a war none of us have experienced.
Not that I'm saying you should stop, if it serves a purpose for you. I just don't like being pushed into caring about something when frankly, I don't. I don't remember the first world war, in fact, I don't think any of us do, so how can any of us remember the people who died in it? They may as well be characters in a fictional story. The people who've died whom I remember as warm living human beings, not cardobard cut outs in some national drama.. Those are the ones I'll remember, and I'll do it in my own time and my own space, not in some grandiose event of public catharsis.
Again, I'm not objecting to other people's need to remember. Maybe you have been touched by the war in a way that I haven't.. I don't know. I just don't like the assumption that everyone should do it and it's some kind of duty. Apart from anything else, that makes it meaningless.. you can't force someone to care.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; November 14th, 2006 at 13:55.
Dying may not be the point, but those killed in the Somme/WWI knew that war was a dangerous thing and were willing to take the risk and make the sacrifice. Comparing it to Cancer, which can strike anyone at anytime with little able to be done about it is not a valid point.
War Memorials do not just Glorify, though they do to a degree (our local memorial is engraved with 'In Memorial to our Glorious Dead') but if it was purely crass glorification of something which is Hell on Earth, then why do War Veterans attend? they were there, had thier mates die and yet are one of the biggest groups of rememberance service attenders.
Every time you read this sig: a fairie dies!