or ‘The person who forgets the past is condemned to repeat it’ [1]

In Australia April 25 is ANZAC Day – Australia’s most important national holiday. (Easter and Christmas are not exclusive to Australia, and many don’t know, or ignore, the foundation events of these holy days.) ANZAC is an acronym for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The day is a memorial to all who have served in the military forces of these two countries.

I want by this post to pay homage to all people throughout the world who serve, or have served, honourably in their country’s armed forces; who, by extension, have been willing to put themselves in harm’s way to protect others. (I’m unsure how laudable it is to be willing to kill: perhaps it depends on whether you also desire to or take pleasure in it.)

This doesn’t just apply to people on active service but particularly those who have served honourably, particularly people who have stood up to injustice, even from their own commanders or comrades; those who know and obey the greater law that applies to all people, that can be known through conscience, codified and referred to as the “Geneva Convention”.

We can’t actually honour people for being victims of the innumerable atrocities that occur during war, such as have recently occurred among the civilian populations in the former Yugoslavia, in Libya, and in Syria, but we should remember them and help them as we can. June 26 is the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture; however, any war – even an undeclared, covert one, always brings suffering with it. So as well as remembering those who have been willing to sacrifice themselves to protect others, it’s good to remember the suffering of people who should have been protected, but weren’t; who should have been inviolate, but were violated.

Lest we forget.

___________

Endnotes

[1] Said by George Santayana I believe.

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