A few previous blogs about Anzac Day are here: 2007, 2008, 2009 (which includes Owen's grteat refelection on the sacrifice of Isaac), and a similar one in 2010, and also about the VC. There are other incidental comments
Not that they are immemorial but they have a sameness about them. Interesting I hope.
My question for me is, as I get older, I find myself wondering "What is the point of all this war and death?"
Am I brave enough...not to go to war ...but to be an open and deliberate pacifist.
There is little doubt in my mind that current conflicts only ram home the futility of war. And the enormouse cost to civilain populations, and to the young men and women who we send to fight our battles.
(The Australian Cross of Sacriufice at Villers-Brettoneux)
In a way it is a pity that Hitler, Pol Pot, Robert Mugabe, Bin-Laden are such obvious and easy caricatures of evil and thus provide a pseudo-justification for armed conflict. Hollywood has not made this any easier!
..But there is no doubt that after the enormous number of deaths of so many young men after WWI there was little debate that this was indeed "the war to end all wars" Not, I suspect, because it had solved the geo-political issues ...but because finally people had realised that the cost in terms of human life was just too great and should never be allowed to happen again (and I have just been listening to ABC FM radio talking about the cost of animal life ...which we seldom if ever give a moment's thought to)
I was privileged this week to have a long chat with one of our serving sailors who was at a wedding I was conducting. A fine young man, who is well aware that he could be involved in a theatre of war...but thankfully hasn't been. "But", he told me, "I never even thought about when I signed on"
That, of course, is what those who send our sons and daughters rely upon.