11th of November Remembrance Day, 100 years on, was their sacrifice worth it?

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11th of November Remembrance Day, 100 years on, was their sacrifice worth it?

The one hundred year anniversary of the end of the First World War is on the 11th of November 2018, Remembrance Day.

These yearly ceremonies are reminding us all of the great sacrifices of our previous generations in fighting for what was true over tyranny and suppression, not only in World War I but also World War II.

When visiting the Churchill war rooms, I was struck by a photo of airmen with the audio voice of Winston Churchill activating as you stood in front of the photo saying “never have so many owed so much to so few” – my throat caught and my eyes welled up – these fresh-eyed boys ready for the adventure and adrenaline of a sky fight for so many to not return. Then watching a film about the ladies who were typists in the war room bunkers, with one lady saying they all knew their jobs were as important as all the other jobs, ‘cogs in a machine’, the sense of purpose, selflessness and brotherhood was tangible along with the absolute preciousness of life. I couldn't help but feel deeply sad and embarrassed by how our world is currently. That we went from having so much purpose to seeking nothing more than entertainment fixes, filling the void of aimlessly being without connection to one another or care for anything much beyond our immediate comforts.

We have not evolved since World War I or II. It seems that, with the exception of a small minority, we have reverted back to a Roman mixture of the pursuit of decadence with the gladiatorial excesses provided by television, YouTube and gaming. All escapism.

There has been a plethora of movies about World War II in the last couple of years. Dunkirk and Darkest Hour showed how close we came to losing the war before it even started: it was only because of Churchill's willingness to see the evil coming through Hitler and the Nazi movement, along with his absolute knowing that his destiny[i] was to fight this evil and to not back down at any cost, even when the odds seemed impossible.

We could offer up so much more than a wreath at Remembrance Day: we could offer up our honesty and willingness to look at how we have wasted our freedom that they so gallantly fought and died for. With this appraisal we can actually start to make changes and turn this juggernaut around; if we can be truly honest about what is driving our decisions currently we can start to address what it is that is missing in our lives. We have lived before with purpose and deep commitment when the prospective outcome was bleak and we can do so again with even greater love and purpose: do we have to wait until our lives depend on it again? Our disease rates are out of control, mental health for young people and adults are at record highs, more people kill themselves than at any other time in history. The evil has come in different forms, we are destroying ourselves from the inside, but it is there to clearly see; by opening our eyes, we can connect to our hearts and live truth once again.

A more fitting tribute would be for us to be living in a way that would have made their sacrifice worth it . . . for those who died for our freedom to see us living in a way that was harmonious to all, including our planet and all who are on this planet with us. We are so much more than our current state of affairs.

Reference:

  • [i]

    BBC. (2018). BBC Sounds – Book of the Week – Churchill's Passions – Episode 1. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000nlx

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EvolutionHarmonyConnectionHealthy livingHumanityConflict

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    By Vanessa McHardy, MA Integrative Child Psychotherapist

    Vanessa loves to help young people and adults to have an understanding of how they learn and how they can express all of themselves in all areas of their lives. True learning is at the heart of Vanessa’s life in all ways.

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    Photography: Matt Paul