The 11th hour of the 11th day of 11th month is the anniversary of the end of the “The Great War” as it was known. At that time the world was also starting to be engulfed with what would become known as the Spanish Flu. Both of these tragedies killed millions of people worldwide and left an indelible mark on history.
Over one hundred years later, the world finds itself again in the midst of geopolitical friction and a global pandemic. If there is one thing we can take from history is that humanity came through these challenges and continued. It is therefore probably never more important than now to take a moment and remember all those who died. Some did so serving their country, like the ANZAC soldiers. Others did so serving humanity, the medical staff. Yet others were simply innocent victims of these major events.
In current times, probably the most challenging period in about one hundred years, we should pause, reflect and give thanks for what we have. We should give thanks for those who sacrificed for others. We should remember all those whose lives were changed forever in ways they probably had little control over. All that lived through the horror of one hundred years ago are now gone. Their legacy is merely our memory.
Our service to them should not only be to remember their deeds and circumstances but to learn from the lessons of history and ask what can in done, no matter how small, for others and greater good. Like it or not, we are all in this together and the way that out is always via a shared experience. If history teaches us anything, solutions to problems come via the application of shared humanity not individualism. There is never a better time than now to demonstrate this.
The cessation of World War One brought an end to savage fighting and unprecedented carnage wrought on an industrial scale never seen before. It was however a time when ANZAC troops distinguished themselves and both Australia and New Zealand probably ‘arrived’ on the world stage. Their legacy lives on. Their sacrifices are not forgotten. Their courage provides us strength to face, battle and defeat our own challenges in the modern experience.
Let us therefore take a moment to pause, remember, draw strength and work together, as they did, for a better world for all.
For those interested in the accomplishments of the ANZACs in Europe during World War One, please have a look at my web site – Australian Battlefields of World War I – France