Poneke reminds us how lucky those of our generation are:
I am from only the first generation in human history whose young men – teenage boys — were not forced by their country’s leaders to fight and kill the young men and teenage boys of other countries and be killed by them. My parents’ generation was the last such generation so far, and, I fervently hope, the last ever.
As a parent, scarcely a day goes by that I do not give thanks to having grown up in relative peace and that there is a good chance my children will not be forced to fight and maybe die in battle against someone else’s children. …
It’s Anzac Day today, and like she started doing several years ago, my daughter, 15, is attending two services. She is one of a growing number of her generation who have taken a great interest in the sacrifices made in battle by her forebears and sets out to honour them by attending Anzac Day events. I asked her this morning why, and her answer was simplicity itself.
“To pay respect for the people who died in wars,” she said. “The First World War could have been avoided but if people hadn’t stood up to Hitler he would have taken over Europe, and much of the world, so we were fighting for peace, odd as that sounds.” …
“I don’t like it when people protest at the cenotaph. They shouldn’t be protesting at the soldiers. They were only doing what they had to. They should be protesting at the governments that started the wars.”
We shall never forget, certainly not now that our children are ensuring that their great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents who were forced to fight and die in terrible, often futile battles long ago, will not be forgotten.
Poneke is such a good blogger, he should consider writing for a living 🙂