Suffer dishonour and disgrace but never resort to arms. Be bullied, be outraged, be killed but do not kill
Merry it was to laugh there
You cheering crowds who roar and cry
Come on you sons of b**ches! Do you want to live forever?
(Attributed to Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly, 6th Marine Regiment, Marine Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, when he and his men were besieged, outnumbered and pinned down in the Battle of Belleu Wood, 1918)
I have always been appalled by war. But it is more complex than just being pro-peace or anti-violence. History shows us that sometimes war is necessary. Sometimes it is inevitable. To say that is not to endorse violence or the killing fields which inevitably result. At other times war is the result of man's folly, greed, egotism or stupidity.
I have found that since having a son, my emotions about war have become a bit more personal. There is a possibility, however remote, that my son could, at some point in his life, be involved in fighting a war.
This morning I explained to my daughter about Remembrance Day. She asked me why Australians would travel all the way to Europe to fight. I said that when you believe in something no distance is too far to travel.
The Shrine of Remembrance is the biggest memorial shrine in Australia. It was built between 1928 and 1934. Only 6 months were needed to raise the funds for its construction. It was a controversial building. Many people wanted a cenotaph style structure. Still others wanted the money to be devoted to care for the war injured and their families.
So why such a monument. This is explained by Professor Bruce Scates who has just written a history of the Shrine. He says that unlike the US, which repatriated its war dead, and the English, who could visit her graves in France, the vast majority of Australians could never visit northern France. Victorians (who lost 1 in 5 people who went to WW1) needed somewhere to go to remember and reflect on their losses.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
(Images Real War Photos and quotes from Military-quotes.com)