11/11

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Armistice day. On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, we stop our daily activities, and for 2 minutes we reflect on the dead, the dead soldiers who fought to defeat the threat of invasion, suppression and death.

We seem to remember the heroes. The men, women and children who sacrificed so much to defeat the Central Powers (As Armistice day is the anniversary of the end of World War One). It has expanded over the years, we honour those who died in World War 2, as well as the Korean War, the Gulf War, the Iraq war, the war in Afghanistan and any other wars.

I have never been an advocate for war. I believe that true disputes can be solved without war. Just talking, and understanding and taking diplomatic actions without the use of violence is better. It is an optimistic thought, and we’ll probably still have war for my lifetime at least. I feel most wars are started over a few things: greed, religion, and misunderstandings all in the name of ‘destroying dictatorships’. While not the case in some wars, if you look at the root causes of some of them, you’ll find at least one of those topics.

I also feel we forget the survivors. It’s all well and good remembering the brave men and women who died in the name of freedom, but there are also lots of brave people who are not honoured with the respect that they deserve. Many men have survived and were forced into alcoholism, homelessness and drug use, to get away from the faces of the people they have murdered in the name of democracy. Some of this is justified of course, as in the world wars, but wars like Iraq, which is a very polarising war over whether we should have helped Bush in the War on Terror. Many who returned had physical and mental scars, resulting in in broken homes and relationships. These men have given up their peace of mind to save your lives, and do we honour them?

Some men and women are lucky, as my Great Granddad who served in the navy until the 1950’s, until leaving. We still have his medals, at my Granddad’s house. RIP all who died in war, and my thoughts are with the men and women fighting their own, personal wars. We hope you win.

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Ben

Since 2012, Benjamin Attwood has written for the If you Ask Ben blog.

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