Today we still live in a world torn by war, and military actions taken against those who resort to terrorism.
Its prudent to remember than 100 years ago ancestors of mine and my countrymen went off to fight in World War One. This weekend, both New Zealand and Australia remembered the sacrifice of our people in that war and subsequent wars and peacekeeping operations around the world.
100 years ago, the ANZACs (the Australia New Zealand Army Corp) were sent as part of the British Army to fight against the Turks (then the Ottoman Empire), landing at Gallipoli - a campaign of the that war which was ill-conceived and executed, and resulted in great losses both for the ANZACs and the Turks.
Both sides now remember the sacrifice of our young people who fought for their Empires, and helped forge from that War unique national identities as they came out from the shadow of the former empires.
Of heard a lot of accounts recently of how soldiers from Australia and New Zealand went to that war with feeling like they had a British identity, but returned to their respective states with a sense of nationhood, that they had learnt the right to call themselves Australians, or New Zealanders. The baptism of that War helped strike an accord in our lands that would lead to independent identities, that we were free standing nations in our own right, and that we had sacrificed at the altar of battle.
In the case of New Zealand, we sent around 10% of our population off to that War on the other side of the planet, and the death toll, both on the battlefield and those who returned and died later of injuries or sickness was high. Both our mutual countries suffered staggering percentage losses.
The lessons of that War, its successor in World War 2 and subsequent wars and turmoil has not taught the world to live in peace yet.
So its important to remember these past wars, why they were fought, and why we continue to fail to learn lasting lessons from them.
This year saw record attendances at services around the country, in Australia, and even the gatherings over at Gallipoli. Great to see the turn out in my humble residence of Wainuiomata. Even the Army turned up to show us some the gear used by both sides through most of the major conflicts we’ve attended. They even fired a cannon off with blanks a couple of times - right in the park next to the main shops.
Into the future, I hope we do learn, but as the FSpace setting portrays, humans and many aliens alike have yet to learn the lessons of a lasting peace, and conflict continues. While some of Earth’s domestic war and violence has subsided, it isn’t utopia, and will take many more generations to solve. While that might sound pessimistic, in truth, I expect the vision of the future I’m painting for Earth at least, might unfortunately for us in the real world be more optimistic than it could turn out like.
Let us all take time to reflect on what has happened in the real world, and what kind of world we want to live in during the future, and what we want for our descendants.