Perhaps I’m the only person who thinks it highly pretentious when the world goes gaga over remembering the soldiers who perished in the various wars, civil, political and religious. And perhaps these people would be justified in labelling me an insensitive ingrate.
But hold your horses!
There’s the ubiquitous Remembrance Day, and then there’s the variations on a theme:
Armistice Day, Day of National Mourning, Poppy Day, Memorial Day, Anzac Day, Veterans Day, etc. But apart from Yom HaShoah which remembers the Jews who died in the Holocaust, I can’t seem to find any other day that significantly commemorates the lives lost by the innocent victims of warmongering, the so-called collateral damage.
Why should just the pawns of warmonger’s be remembered? Are their lives any more special than the lives of the innocent townsfolk who get caught in the cross-fire.
You’re probably wondering why I’m venting over this particular bee in my bonnet?
On Saturday, I was accused by a privileged prat from the first-world country, of being disrespectful towards fallen soldiers who supposedly “gave me my freedoms,” when I tried to point out in my own inimitable style that soldiers fall to protect the interests of politicians and clerics. At the same time I was thinking how facetious it is for first world countries to always imagine that they have the soldiers who give their lives for the freedoms of their fellow citizens, while those from supposedly bad-ass countries, who have had their asses kicked and also perished, do not.
Every time a soldier falls, he does it not for his country, a grandiose cause or his religion, as he is led to believe; he falls for the dogmatic beliefs of his political, religious, cultural or clan masters. No man or women will pick up a gun of his own accord and decide to kill someone of an opposing belief system, unless he’s a pathological killer or just plain insane. It takes leaders of the political and religious persuasions to plant the seeds of hatred and fear in the minds of soldiers to convince them to risk the “fall.”
So, far from being insensitive or disrespectful, I would be just plain immoral to honour fallen soldiers without attempting to rationalise why they fell in the first instance, and then not make an effort to expose and address those causes.
Remembrance Day should honour not only the soldiers who have fallen, but those who perished for no reason whatsoever in the idiotic fight over dogmatic beliefs sown by the political and religious villains of the world.