To Avoid Being Forgotten

Kendal War MemorialIn my library, I have several books by military personnel.  The oldest is an ebook of a diary from the Napoleonic Wars but the majority are written by men who have recently served in Afghanistan and Iraq.  This reflects my interest in military history.  Today, however, I was thinking about the plethora of modern books about real life experiences by our military.

Why are there so many?  Personally, I think it’s a demonstration of a desire to not be forgotten.  Not just those who wrote the books, but all those they served with.  War is, rightly, unpopular.  The political and economic aspects of war contribute in large portions to the unpopularity of most modern conflicts, and I can certainly understand that.  Sadly, this has produced a dread amongst our military personnel that we will forsake them.

We can honestly protest against war, especially when such is motivated by greed.  What we should never do is to treat those who serve as being part of that lust for money and power.  Nobody who serves can believe other than that they lay their lives on the line for just causes.  They don’t fight, and kill, and die to ensure that some business can improve their profits or gain an advantage.  They fight because that’s what they train for and are ordered to do.  They believe that they are helping the weak against the strong.  It may seem incredibly naïve but it’s simple fact.

Of course some know, in their hearts, that others have different agendas, but these men and women who risk so much believe that they can, and do, make a difference.  The number of books reflects a yearning to be understood and to be remembered.  Every time a soldier is abused by their countrymen, because of what they do, another knife is driven into the backs of all who serve.  By writing about what they have done, seen, and suffered, there is a hope that more will come to understand them.

Whatever may be said, soldiers fight first and foremost for their comrades.  It’s a survival essential.  Second, they believe that they serve to protect their homes, even when in distant lands.  Third, they believe that they can, and do, improve the lot of those who suffer under the heels of dictators and oppressive regimes.  If our military had been as proactive before the Second World War, would that war have happened as it did?  Could it have prevented the Holocaust?  We’ll never know, of course, but it may be that millions of lives could have been saved.

I find myself saddened that our bravest men and women are made to feel so insecure.  I’m also immensely grateful to those who write these books.  It will make it much harder to pretend that they were merely the tools of faceless companies and easily manipulated politicians.  Whatever the motivations at the top, we have a duty to acknowledge and remember those who risk all in the combat zone.

~ Steve

(Photograph, Kendal War Memorial, Copyright © Steve Smy, 2012.)

Advertisements
This entry was posted in general, Steve K Smy and tagged , , , , , , , , , by Steve. Bookmark the permalink.

About Steve

An author since the age of 13 years, writing again dominates my activities. My "Imagineer-ing" blog is my primary site. Also: Beginner knitter since November 2010. Favourite knitting techniques: cable and lace. Beginner cross stitcher. Beginner jewellery maker. With the promotion of self publication and all the other work that has been going on here, Dad decided around 2am this morning (22/11/2013) that it was time to begin his next adventure. He was seen off earlier the previous evening by myself, my brother, my sister in law, and my sister, as well as his wife (our mum), and an enigmatic being known only as A Lorraine. After this time of story telling, laughing, crying, joking and mickey taking, we saw how tired both mum and dad were, and we decided to leave them under the (sometimes) gentle care of The Lorraine. When Dad found the timetable for his travels, he let Mum know gently, which woke her from her drowsing, then, with the same gentleness he showed in this universe, he boarded his favourite mode of transport, the Interdimensional Steam Train, and set off with a smile and a wave. For those of us closest, that smile was a reminder that his pain has ended, and the wave, an indicator that he will pop in to all those that knew him, from time to time. Usually at the most inconvenient and in opportune moments he can. While we are sad that he is no longer here, we are happy he now has no pain, and is experiencing more extraordinary things that his writers mind will be frantically weaving into a new story. Posted by Son Damien

Please leave your comment(s)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s