So it is that time of year when we start to think about battles past and the sacrifice of our men (mostly) in foreign fields. I find myself torn between two lines of thought. The first is obvious. These people died horribly fighting for something they believed in, we should remember them and make sure that this never happens again. My other line of thought is more troubling, but is the way I am leaning.
Every year, this commemoration seems to be a time for political point scoring. The leader of NZ's opposition came out saying that NZ shames it's old soldiers by neglecting military spending, while the PM of Australia chooses to break years of tradition by not attending the NZ service in Turkey. It seems to me that by having these organised commemorations, it is a chance for those who would like to continue war, to show how glorious war is. My own grandfather refuses to join the local returned serviceman's organisation because all they talk about is the glory of war. Now, I have never been to war and would refuse to fight in any war save that which directly threatened my family, but I know enough to know that war sucks. There is no glory in it. The best way to die is in your bed at the age of 100. This is better for your family, your friends and for the politicians, their tax base. Their is no glory in dying, the real glory is in living. I always struggle with this. I want to appreciate what was done, but I think the real message is being lost in the nationalistic bullshit.
San Nakji for President!