WWII, Why should we remember?

For many of us, war feels distant– a phenomenon that happens through the lens of a camera, seen on television. We hear about countries fighting and government making bombs, threatening to shake the world that we know and love. We read these things on paper and see it through photographs, but we never really experience it ourselves. Many of us today have been born during a period of peace, and we think war is far removed from our everyday lives. However, we would not be living in peace had it not been for the courageous men and women who devoted and sacrificed their lives for the very peace we call our own.

The question asks: “Why do we need to remember this dark time when it is already gone?” to which we say, “Why not?”

The Second World War may be a ghost of today’s past, but it still continues to serve us through our everyday lives. Our freedom, institutions, and rights have all been products of what our countrymen and fellow human beings fought bravely for. There are so many reasons to remember the Second World War; even more so now that we have so many World War 2 facts within reach that we can instantly teach ourselves about the history and sacrifices of the veterans and countrymen.

So why is it crucial to remember the sacrifices made during World War 2? The lives they lost and the peace that we gained would be absolutely meaningless if we do not. These people died and sacrificed for us and it would be remiss not to constantly remember them. The meaning of their sacrifices should rest with our collective consciousness because our own life is their tribute and monument.

Remembering our fallen heroes and the hundreds of thousands of soldiers, men, women, and children who had made tremendous amounts of sacrifices and endured so much pain makes the values and beliefs we enjoy now so much more meaningful. The freedom that we proudly have, which we sometimes take for granted, is consciously present and realized every day knowing that someone else sacrificed their life for us to live it.

Today, many survivors speak about awareness of war and the observance we need in order to respect and shed light on these important issues. Often times we get lost in our own sea of battles that we don’t realize we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for our heroes. They speak about WW2 facts; we have books and audio books of these accounts re-telling the stories of our brave countrymen. We have all the facts at the palm of our hands—we just need to slow down and listen.

As we live in peace, we must never forget our, and the community’s collective responsibility to always commemorate these sacrifices by standing up to bullies and tyrants who try their very best to suppress our freedom and rights. The war may be over now, but every day we have our own little wars and fights that we need to face head on and come prepared for. We must remember, that without the courage of our fallen heroes, we would not survive the perils of every day problems—big or small. We take inspiration from them and make sure that no one tries to take away the enduring nature of our human spirit.

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  • Conjunction

    I was born in 1949, and share the sentiments of the Claregate post regarding how to me personally war is an alien experience. I have never served in the army and part of my interest in Dr Baker’s memoirs is that I am full of curiosity about how a person manages the constant noise, stress, fear, adrenaline, and need to keep a clear head that I imagine experience of war is about. Dr Baker’s book is particularly good, compared to other war memoirs I have read, in giving an account of this experiential aspect.

    Regarding what the war was about, my viewpoint is slightly different than the above post, having been brought up by parents who had been in the Communist party, and having an academic background, having read widely on the causes of the world wars in the last century.

    There are arguments, some emanating from respected esoteric circles, that at least in one respect, global conflict was caused by a clash of empires, or would-be empire-builders, that it was a manifestation of the out of control capitalist machine, and not just a response to an unhinged Third Reich.

    Such critics might go on to question the entire basis of the British Empire, and indeed, the Empire is rather unfashionable just now, even to the extent that historians avoid it, and I sometimes feel that the feelings and attitudes of the ruling class Victorians like Disraeli, Gladstone and Salisbury are almost completely incomprehensible to the modern generation, if indeed, the schools they went to thought it worth their while to examine such matters at all.

    My own view is, however, that if you do study such matters, you come out with the view that there were certain disciplines and values which tended to emerge repeatedly in the establishment of the Empire, and that these values were at stake in the Second World War, in which the victory of the allies, especially in its foundation, was crucially due to British effort.

    Doulgas Baker’s book is the more of interest to me because he was brought up in South Africa, and fought through Ethiopia to North Africa, and finally to Italy. His reflections on the politics of the early war years, and the strategies pursued by Allied Command in the desert and in Italy are fascinating.

    Even more fascinating is the way that to me the book maps out what courage consists of: what demands are made of a man, what choices does he make, how does he relate to the collective, to vulnerable colleagues, how does he let off steam. Considered in the context of El Alamein and the Italian campaign, among the most notorious of all British endeavour on the battlefield, and therefore the most written about, these reflections have a classic status.

  • George

    An impactful, real-life story of one young man’s experience in a war to defend freedom. Also an accurate portrayal of his in-born character that doesn’t come from book learning. An inspiration for everyone facing life’s challenges which often feels like a daily battlefield.

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