The Weekly Advertiser

EDITORIAL: Remembrance Day all about loss

Dean Lawson editorial 2 2017

We need only consider the international rhetoric, diplomatic name-calling and sabre-rattling of the past 12 months to understand why there is still a need for Remembrance Day.
The occasion, above anything else, is an annual community message that regardless of motivation, war ultimately is another name for horror, death and destruction, often on a massive scale.
To pause for a minute’s silence at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month might seem almost corny and pointless considering it is historically based on something that happened a century ago.
Many of us have been guilty of thinking when the time arrives: ‘Really? Do I have to stop what I’m doing at this moment? Does it really matter?’
Probably not, it is after all only a symbolic gesture. But being aware that it is happening and why it’s happening does matter.
The reality is, Remembrance Day is much more than a simple reflection on a moment in time – when the guns fell silent on the Western Front – it’s an important tap on the shoulder to remind us to consider the people who died or suffered during all wars and armed conflicts. In our case it is about Australians.
Unlike other war-time commemorations, which expand to consider human feats such as resilience and courage as well as reflecting on sacrifice, Remembrance Day is simply about loss.
In Australia it might be about regional towns such as Dunolly, which all but lost its male workforce on the battlefields of Europe in the First World War.
In Russia, it might be about the death of more than 20-million people, soldiers and civilians, during the Second World War. The examples are many.
Remembrance Day is in essence, a deterrent, a reminder of what can happen if we give in to frustration at the international debating table, throw the papers of diplomatic discussion into the air and instead pick up a gun.
For political leaders around the globe, especially individuals and groups in charge of monstrous armies and weaponry and others who can influence these people, the Remembrance Day reminder is critical.
But in the end, it is the human collective, the you and me of the world that determines how long the message resonates.

The entire November 8, 2017 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Nov 8 2017

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