Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November 13th, 2016

I have just been watching the Remembrance Sunday commemorations on BBC1, a highly emotional experience, especially as I watch our Queen and her Consort, who is now ageing quite fast. I find the march-past of the veterans to be of special poignancy, knowing that they have fought for the freedom of the country.

remembrance sunday, remember, armistice day, war memorials in london

Remember

I’ve said this before, one of the things I really, truly love about this country are the traditions. I love that they commemorate significant events in the history of the country and the world. I have attended as many as I possibly can over the last 15 years and have attended Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph at least 3 times (my memory fails me as to whether I’ve been more often). Like Trooping the Colour it is one of the events on the annual calendar that I feel compelled to attend…from a sense of gratitude, thanksgiving, of obligation, of community, of being a citizen of the country.

Remembrance Sunday is a time for families who have lost loved ones in conflicts to come together to honour and remember them, for the veterans to receive thanks and pay tribute to those that knew who died in those conflicts. A time of national remembrance.

My daughter and I agree to disagree on whether there is any point in remembering these past events. Her thoughts are that war is pointless, that people go into the army through choice (especially these days) and that remembering these wars just keeps perpetuating the aspect of wars.

My thoughts are that these people have died in service to their country, they’ve fought to keep our country safe. They’ve left loved ones behind and died in foreign lands in order that I may live in a country that is relatively free.

But, I have to agree with her on the pointless act of war.

Crimean War 1853-1856  : number of dead 213,147 – 293,447. The immediate chain of events leading to France and Britain declaring war on Russia on 27 and 28 March 1854 came from the ambition of the French emperor Napoleon III to restore the grandeur of France….ego.

WW1 1914-1918 : 17 million dead 20 million wounded. The explosive that was World War One had been long in the stockpiling; the spark was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. Ferdinand’s death at the hands of the Black Hand, a Serbian nationalist secret society, set in train a mindlessly mechanical series of events that culminated in the world’s first global war….ego

WW2 1939-1945 : over 60 million killed or 61 million on the Allied side and 11 million on the Axis side. The Treaty of Versailles may have set the scene, but WW2’s main progenitor was one man: Adolf Hitler. Most historians of the causes of World War 2 agree that its seeds were sown at the end of World War 1…ego.

Since the apparent end of WW2 we have had:

1945 and ongoing : Korean conflict
1945-1946 War in Vietnam
1945-1946 Iran crisis
1946-1945 Indochina wars
1946-1949 Greek civil war
another 12 wars/conflicts around the world and then
1948-1949 Arab – Israeli war
another 12 wars/conflicts around the world and then
1950-1953 Korean war
9 wars/conflicts around the world and then
1955-1975 Vietnam war
26 wars/conflicts around the world and then
1961-1975 Angolan War of Independence
14 wars/conflicts around the world and then
1964-1975 Rhodesian Bush War
1964-1992 FULRO insurgency against Vietnam
1964-2016 Colombian conflict
1964-1974 Mozambican War of Independence
10 wars/conflicts around the word and then
1966-1989 South African Border War
9 wars/conflicts around the world and then
1968-1998 The Troubles
17 wars/conflicts around the world and the
1973 Yom Kippur War
35 wars/conflicts around the world and then
1979-1989 Soviet war in Afghanistan
3 wars and conflicts around the world
1980-1988 Iran – Iraq war
6 wars/conflicts around the world and
1982 Falklands war
27 wars/conflicts around the world
And all of these are just between 1945 – 1989 some are still ongoing.
1990-2002 : 65 wars and conflicts, some ongoing
2003-2010 : 39 wars, conflicts and insurgencies

My source for these wars was wikipedia. But if you really want to see the reality of our world at war since 1900, why not scare the shit out yourselves and have a look at this:

All wars in the 20th century I haven’t counted then all, it’s too depressing. According to the site I’ve hyperlinked it is impossible to be sure but at best guess:

Total deaths: 79,284,507 I’d say that’s probably an under-estimated figure.

Number of wars per country is an eye-opener, but what’s really sad is UK 30 & US 24. The only country with a figure higher than that is China with 34. It’s worth having a look…please also do read his comments on the criteria for the figures compiled.

Today, as for centuries past, our main wars are fought because of ego, religion and money…..oil and wealth; vested interests. Countries still go to war to claim land, to kill those they do not agree with and to protect their vested interests. Ego and money is what drives the world.

 

People have been marching for peace for decades and yet we are no nearer to not having wars than we were nearly 100 years ago. There have been countless wars around the world since the end of the First World War nearly 100 years ago: the war to end all wars.

remembrance sunday, armistice day

Harry Patch – veteran of World War 1

Well it didn’t end all wars, we are and have been fighting wars constantly and continuously ever since. We may not be publicly involved in all of these wars, but you can be absolutely sure that we have ‘boots on the ground’ in one way or another; vested interests. So 100 years on, is there any point?

Why do we have Remembrance Sunday when the UK is classified as the 2nd largest arms dealer in the world? http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britain-is-now-the-second-biggest-arms-dealer-in-the-world-a7225351.html  with most of the weapons now fuelling deadly conflicts in the Middle East, conflicts that come back to bite us where it hurts.

It seems a moot point really.

There are fewer peace marches or walks, or anti-war protests than there have been wars.

Are we really marching for peace? or do we march for war. Let’s face it, people make money from wars. There will never be peace on earth. There hasn’t been since time immemorial and there will continue to be wars until the planet implodes or explodes.

Why do we remember?

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

A Polish odyssey and other stories

The all too infrequent adventures of an Englishman in Poland and, as it says, other stories...

The Art of Blogging

For bloggers who aspire to inspire

ExploreOurWorld

Travel, Adventure and Exploration

The Partying Traveler

Survival of the Littest

retiredmartin

On permanent exploration of places, pubs, people and new music.

Ruth's Coastal Walk (UK)

Coastalwalker.co.uk - walking around the British coastline, very SLOWLY.

Raising My Rainbow

Adventures in raising a fabulously gender creative son.

A Guy Called Bloke

Storytelling My Life For You!

the traveller's path

The blog of L.A. Smith, writer