Today, April 25th is ANZAC Day for Australians and New Zealanders – the day we celebrate a great defeat. A bloodbath at Gallipoli, in 1915. We became the canon fodder offered by the British.
I like that we celebrate failure; for it is by failing that we learn from our mistakes – usually. Since 1915, we, the Australian peoples, have been involved in World War II; The Korean War, Malaysia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and now I.S, which is not a state, but more a state of mind; a mindset.
The war to end all wars did none of that. Some might argue that the impact of World War 1 has shaped our societies, and certainly our capitalist economies ever since. A lot of people become very rich, though the needs that war creates.
Mr FD’s grandfather served on The Somme. He was shot, luckily not badly, and went AWOL for a day or two, probably over a lovely lady, but he carried the experience silently throughout his life.
My family, second generation Germans and Poles at that time, experienced the other side. Knocks on the door, questions as to why a picture of the Kaiser, a memory brought by an immigrant, was on an old lady’s wall. Not internment as so many other innocents, but suspicion.
Nothing is solved by violence, be it global or domestic. Yes, celebrate the failures of war, the loss of life, so that, maybe, one day, a generation will finally realise that nothing is worth war and destruction. No one ever wins… and it never ends.