I am in Esperance, Western Australia. It is the 11th of November and the year is 2013. It was 95 years ago that the War to end all Wars – the Great War which later was renamed WWI officially ended. The crowd is composed of the old, the tourist, the locals and school children. It is also comprised of a number of veterans.
When they asked for Allied Military Veterans to join the ranks, it would have been impossible to stay in my place in the shade. I wound up standing next to a lovely woman from Queensland. She served 10 years, a cousin was the MC, an uncle was responsible for raising and lowering the flag during the ceremony.
It is a day to pay respect to all those who, inspire of personal cost, served their countries call. It is not a time to debate the rightness or wrongness of the governments decision. It is not a time to lay blame; whether it be to the Kaiser, the Tsar or the Brits (for sacrificing the ANZAC troops at Gallipoli). It is simply a time to respect and pay homage to those that lost their lives or brought back the scars of war to be borne for the rest of life’s span. It is a time to note the sacrifices of all those on home fronts who in many lands were not in harms way, but suffered loss and privation. In other locations, the war was in their skies, their fields, farms or homes.
It is a day on which to think about peace. And the fact that we seem as a specifies constitutionally unable to settle differences without violence.