On the 11th of November, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, The Great War came to an end, and ever since on that very day we have been commemorating the lives of the countless people who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their nation, be it Germany or France or Russia.
This is not, however, meant to be a glorification of war, and not of the senseless slaughter of men in pointless conflicts, for war is neither glorious nor the correct solution, as it is but a foolish waste of human lives, of lives that have been unacceptably sacrificed for a misguided cause and of futures that were shattered and never had a single chance to reach their full potential. The reason for the observance of this “holiday” is to learn from our past, and to ensure that it never happens again; George Santayana’s1 quote “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it” perfectly explains this concept, as the only way to prevent the devastating armed conflicts that have plagued humanity for so long from reoccurring is to see the stupidity in them, and be a more open minded person, being more welcoming to other viewpoints.
Unfortunately though, not all people have reached this so apparently obvious, and yet striking, realisation, as wars are still going on in several parts of the world, and all that it would take to prevent them from happening or at the very least halt them would be for leaders to sit down and discuss issues with the interests of their people and peace at heart.
This article’s message, however, is not that there is no point in maintaining an active military, the reason for instead keeping one is simple, and it is that global peace has still not been achieved, and a country must be able to defend itself from aggressors. This is the reason why military personnel and veterans are not to be despised, but must instead be praised for their service to the nation, which is not killing, but rather protecting it not necessarily from a foreign “threat”, but also from more internal ones, such as terrorism, which is a hazard to all people no matter where they reside. Not only this, but their contributions to civic works and other services to their homeland are just as notable, given that the armed forces do not exist solely for the purpose of harming others.
In conclusion, Remembrance Day is one of the most important moments in the calendar and it is our moral duty, both as humans and citizens of our countries, to pay respect to those who have fallen to protect a certain ideal.
By Guglielmo Catanzaro