Tuesday 5 August 2014

Lest we forget

Last night I was one of the many you took part in #lightsout. I know for a lot of people it didn't make sense to turn off the lights and commemorate the start of World War One in that way, but for me it felt like a small way of showing my appreciation to all those that fought 100 years ago. I know my actions last night won't have been worth anything in monetary terms but it was a nice way to show support.

With all the commemorations happening at this time it got me thinking about the fact that in just a few years there won't be anyone at our First World War memorials who was actually there, who actually experienced the horrors. We won't be able to show our appreciation and thanks to any of the soldiers who fought for us. Likewise there won't be anyone who worked in the munitions factories, who treated the wounded, who made the decisions or who followed the orders.  No one to say thank you to for giving us the freedom and way of life that we now take for granted. I think that's incredibly sad and also puts us in a position where we have to show them now how we feel before it's too late.

I wonder if these memorials will have less significance in ten, fifty, one hundred years from now? Will we forget about what our families suffered and what they went through without the living reminder at these events. Will we feel differently and forget that we should care when we don't see the old men proudly sporting their uniforms and a chestful of medals. I really really hope that's never the case as what they did for us is far too important for us to just cast off and forget about as the time passes. We must ensure we continue to remember their sacrifices.

Do they sit there and look at what is happening in the world and question what was it for? Why didn't the world learn from the First World War. From all that loss, devastation and senseless death. Do they ask why are we still allowing wars and senseless deaths to continue? And when is enough, enough? What have we really learnt from World War One if it's not stopping such atrocities today.

So that's why I took part in #lightsout yesterday and while I'll endeavour to show up at as many commemorations as possible over the next few months. After all it's not something that's hard to do, I'm not risking my life and it's a small way to honour their sacrifice.

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