Now then, it is VE day , the 75th anniversary of the end of World War 2 insofar as fighting the Nazis in Europe. Luckily most of us did not live through that awful time. Sadly most of those who did endure that hellish time are no longer with us. Just names in registers or on death certificates. You would have hoped that the memories of all that was sacrificed in that war would guarantee no further such appalling events, I'm not so sure the human race has learned the lessons. I'm 60 now and it seems as though through my entire life there has been a war going on somewhere on our stricken planet.
At the moment the entire globe is in the midst of a deadly pandemic that will go on to claim millions of lives, the arrival of VE Day appears to bring a much needed excuse to get out the bunting and celebrate. One major difference between this military celebration and the regular November 11th ceremonies being that it has not been accompanied by the criticisms and wrecking antics of all sorts of groups who set out to decry it every year, for that alone we really should be very grateful.
I find myself wondering what all those fine young people who set out to fight for freedoms and justice would make of the UK today? Would they be impressed or disappointed? It should be borne in mind here that back in those days young people lied about their ages so that they could go and fight! I can guarantee that would not happen today. Have we made any progress along our evolutionary curve?
Just last week reports appeared in the media about the RAF dropping bombs in the East. Terrorism seems to have replaced all out wars for now. Atrocities still occur regularly, as in The Yemen etc. Political expediency seems to dictate how much information we receive about these things nowadays. Iraq is fairly recent in our memories, and America is constantly flexing its mighty military muscles. Internal strife is common around the world, take a look at Chile or Venezuela etc, China is currently playing the role of global whipping boy for those with hidden agendas. Russia is always called upon when a Government needs a convenient hook upon which to hang some blame. So, all in all it is not a very good comment on the human race.
Plato said "Only the dead have seen the end of war",,, still correct today.
The costs of war in financial terms are truly staggering. The entire amount that has ever been spent on the global military industrial complex is unknown, and quite likely incalculable. Just think how much better the world would be if that astronomical amount had been spent on science and medicines etc. Will we ever learn ? I think we are far from that dream scenario, wars are used in the modern age to win elections.
I lost a son in Iraq in 2007, so I can state honestly that to think of the effects that had on me and all the members of the family, and try and multiply that by the number of all the families who have been similarly stricken throughout history is a shocking thing to comprehend. I stand at the Cenotaph every year, will I ever be able to stand there alone with my thoughts and just for once take heart from the fact that there is no armed conflict taking place around planet Earth? I think not.
To get back to today, bunting rippling in the early morning breeze, I really am astounded by the bravery of all those who looked death in the face during WW2, massively humbled at the spirit of their dedication to fighting to enable a better world to be born.
Why did it not happen?
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Society not Economy.