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Memories and Remembrance

  • 6 min read

Red Poppies, the flower that continued to grow on battle grounds at Flanders became the symbol of battle loss from WW1. Memorials were setup to remember the millions of veterans who were lost in battle after WW1. Huge numbers built in the 1920s and 1930s a new social phenomenon marking a major cultural shift on how nations commemorated conflicts. 

Various memorials flooded towns and cities, including civic memorials, national monuments, war cemeteries, private memorials, and a range of utilitarian designs such as halls and parks, dedicated to remembering those involved from war conflict. Many countries took part, in France alone 176,000 erected. Classical styles with Christian values of victory, sacrifice, and death. Medieval styles were also popular. Government funded and led with local charities helped to pave the way for local cenotaphs found in villages and towns. No graves, missing bodies allowed grieving families somewhere to relate and pay their respects. Pilgrimages to destinations of war took place, popular in modern times to acknowledge their family loss. 

Memorials listed the names of non-returns, reflecting the vast loses in troubled times. Estimated forty million made up of twenty million military fatalities, twenty-one battle injured and civilian casualties from WWI.  

Tombs of the unknown soldier and giant monuments such as Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing at Ypres, Belgium, dedicated to British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in Ypres Salient WWI.  Unveiled in 1927 all graves are unknown. In 1914 /1915 the town and gateway at Menin was pivotal in the war to stop German advancement.  After WWII the interest faded and resurrected 1980s/90s with renovated sites and visitor centres springing up. 

WWI loss was catastrophic and left huge loss for society: personal loss was indelible in majority of families; all of society was tainted and felt the onslaught of sacrifice and suffering. Grief and shock was immense for those waiting for their return. 

Sacrifice unknown for families who sometimes lost husband, sons, nephews the generational line stopped. A knock on effect with less males within the population

It is challenging to understand in modern times the mass loss of WWI & WWII. PTSD and mental health were not understood. Men and women came home changed with vast adverse traumas, mental health issues and took their fear and terror with them to the grave. As they did thereafter. Including peacekeepers and associate groups who are involved in conflict and peace keeping. Shock and trauma remains a constant outcome for all. Advances have been made however we still don’t fully understand how to treat or recoup from.  The long arm of depression and mental health continues (1 in 4 of all ages) prevalent within society. Repeating within families who were fathered from their own mental health issues. Formation and transference is a major contributor. Modern high expectations and living pressures are also a factor within today’s society.  Liberty and economic security has been lost through Covid. We live in a poorer society than a decade ago!

Great swathes of humanity lost from war and viral pandemic. Spanish Flu killed more than in WWI with 500 million people (one third of global population). Also known as the Great Influenza epidemic or the 1918 influenza pandemic, globally infected caused by a virus H1N1 influenza.

We take peace for granted today. And those who died gave us liberty of freedom from WWI and WWII the liberty we take for granted today. We still have loss of life in conflict prevalent globally.  In modern day veterans are maimed and killed from the battles fought to give peace in our time.  Memories fade of the conflicts and hardship all endured. 

Conflict remains on a global scale, spotlighting imbalances we live with. Life is cheap, we have a re-run of conflict and pandemic with C19 virus globally. Covid is the perpetrator for millions, who have lost their lives to disease. Living with a cloud of anxiety, fear and loss. Anxiety remains with levels of PTSD and long Covid disorders follow. Our battle with disease continues. Science has improved life with insights on how to treat Covid and influenza relying on jabs to improve our longevity.  Over population and poor hygiene, are some of the causes found. Lifestyles and lack of nutrition another, immune deficiency follows. Nature will rebalance in her own way individually and culturely. Consequences follow when we lose balance in nature as we see within the environment. Nature will fight back. 

We live in times of high and extreme drama highlighting mismatches of living. Power crazy control over others remains, intolerance and ethnic cleansing continues. Dogma and gender division, no equality for females. Half the world migration to Western areas for safety. The downtrodden want economic security. We are still learning that conflict brings suffering, disease, and harsh living to the masses. Although we are reminded of our historical losses the trend remains, conflict continues in our world.  Chaos and unease in the world remain.  Taking time for new ideas, better systems of change and realisations to come to the fore. We saw some of our intuitive ideas during the lockdown of Covid.  Kindness came bubbling up. 

Yearly memorial gatherings, give us the opportunity of respecting all who have gone before.  How long do we need to learn, how long do we carry the grief, hate and bitterness of conflict? How many precious lives do we need to sacrifice? Karma is made of this and essentially cultures are living karmic debt of ages past. Aggressive fighting ways of ancient beliefs/times endemic continue. Brainwashing from generation to generation continues the action reply, globally. Need to wake up to our plight. Brainwashing must be stopped. We are not living in ancient times and their beliefs need bringing up to date.  When we continue to live in ancient beliefs we create the same world of fears etc. lived previously. Ground-hog day continues with same outcomes and stagnation in culture. 

Until we ditch ancient this way of living, we will continue on the treadmill until we learn life is precious, respect and honour is required equally not just for a day but on a 24/7 basis. Learn UNITY with tolerance and equality on every level. 

It seems the world is not sick of suffering and death just yet! PEACE comes with morals and kindness. A small word that brings enormous change. I pray 2022 will loosen its grip on suffering and start the great awakening and process of awareness of what PEACE and UNITY REALLY MEANS.

Joy Wisdom  11.2021

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