Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Let these not be filled

Each time I'm in Auckland, which does not happen often, maybe twice within the last few years or so, I've been to the War Memorial Museum there. It's a nice museum to wander around, there are good displays on natural history and NZ history. For me, one of the more touching parts is to wander around the World War I Sanctuary and the World War II Hall of Memories. Here and in a couple of other chambers are inscribed the names of New Zealands War dead. Wandering around the level where the names are inscribed, not jsut from WWI and WWII but from all the conflicts that NZ tropp shave faught in, there are some empty marble palques, expressing the simple statement "Let these not be filled". A simple sentiment, one that I would hope is not just wishfull thinking.

As an aside, the Cenotaph database, one of the museum projects, contains records for over 35,000 New Zealanders who gave their lives as a result of war, from South Africa in 1899, through the First and Second World Wars to Korea, Malaya and Vietnam in the 1950s to 1970s, and deaths from recent peacekeeping deployments.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I should hope they are never filled. It's such a waste of life, although they are hero's and they gave their life for the cause, I would rather they had remained with us. Was the cause worth it?? Was is worth all the loss??

25/4/06 16:24  
Blogger Darkling said...

Unfortuantely the price of freedom is often paid with blood. I would prefer them to never be filled, but I'm not a pacifist, some things are worth fighting and dying for. Military action is a tool of last resort, once all other options have been extinguished. Unfortunatley, I think that from time to time it will be required.

The original landing at ANZAC was an unfortuante waste of life for both sides, a poorly planned and thought out attack for which the Brittish Brass bears a lot of responsibility. WWII was a different story altogether.

Hindsight will always be 20/20, and it's easy to stand back and say that particular courses of action should never have been taken. At the time however, information is not always complete and the costs of action and inaction need to be weighed, based on current knowledge.

As an aside the last part should in no way be taken as an apology for ignoring inconvenient evidence, as was been seen recently by the current US administration.

25/4/06 16:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do agree that in SOME CASES lives had to be lost for freedom. Otherwise some of us may never have existed. Do you really think the germans would have wanted red heads??
I just don't like war, I don't like what happens during it, and i certainly don't like what it does to people and how they change permanently. It takes away innocence and makes "killers" out of good men.

Yes the results, or the deaths from WWI and WWII were part of a much bigger picture and without the world wouldn't be as it is. Funnily enough we see it as a loss, hence why we celebrate their deaths every year ............. "least we forget"

25/4/06 17:59  

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