Grateful Friday is having a bit of a rest at the moment, but it is ANZAC Day today and while I fall very much on the side of ‘peace-loving anti-war hippy’ I feel compelled to post a little something anyway.
I don’t really know anyone who has been to war… or at least not anyone who talks about it. I have relatives who were/are in the defence forces and who were involved in various different ‘wars’ etc and I grew up with children who’s father’s were in Vietnam, but it was not something I ‘knew’ as a child, and not even now as an adult can I really say I am personally touched by war.
On ANZAC day, when our nation stops to remember all of those who have fought for our country, I find myself not drawn to any glorification of war, not supporting war, but being drawn to the human stories, to the people and their families who experienced things that I find so terribly frightening and horrific. To me ANZAC Day is about remembering, because if we forget then we will have learnt nothing and made no progress towards peace.
I find myself thinking about the time I spent attending CISV camps, with people from all over the world. One of CISV’s premises is that if children and young people get to know others from different countries and cultures and backgrounds, spend time with them, live with them, eat with them, sleep with them, play with them, call them friends… that when they go home, and grow up and become the future of this world they will have a little connection with that country so far away and perhaps find it that much harder to react with violence and war towards friends. I hope that is true.
Today I find myself feeling incredibly thankful. Thankful that I don’t personally know what it is like to be affected by war, and that my children don’t know what it is like…. and I hope that they never will.