I was surprised to see only one other person standing at dawn in our street today. When I asked a client at the end of last week if they were going to stand at dawn, they really couldn’t see how Anzac Day was even relevant to them. So why SHOULD we commemorate, and what has war actually done for us?
Apart from the obvious respect for the vast loss of life from many wars, not just the first and Second World War, there are some other things you might not have considered, that war has done for us.
The advances in technology during and as a result of the great wars is not to be sniffed at. One of the most significant impacts of World War One was huge advances in technology, which would transform the way that people all around the world travelled and communicated, in particular, in the years after the conflict. Advances in Planes, sound recording and photography are just a few other positive take aways.
And now we can communicate using the internet and have meetings from our living rooms, even make calls and see the person at the other end. The vast amount that technology has since changed, even just in my lifetime is quite incredible.
I have personally seen the invention of the internet and mobile phones. There’s far too much more to even mention.
Wounds inflicted on soldiers were like nothing medical professionals had had to deal with before – not least in terms of the numbers of people injured.
So the war meant that medicine had to catch up to be able to deal with these problems.
Donating and giving blood started during World War One, when a US army doctor called Captain Oswald Robertson realised that blood needed to be stockpiled so it was there ready and waiting when casualties arrived.
A special rod called a Thomas splint, which was used on soldiers who had broken their leg, was also developed. At the start of the war, four in every five soldiers with a broken femur died. By 1916, four out of five survived.
There quite simply is no comparison now, with the incredible advancement of medicine since then.
Role of women
Up until the war, women were perceived in a certain way in society. Their role was traditionally to stay in the home.
Issues like politics and war were very much seen as things for men to deal with.
Since then we have seen equality laws change all around the world and women began to take on roles that were once only reserved for men. Many these days do it better!
Quite honestly, you should be ashamed of yourself if you don’t think Anzac Day (or Remembrance Day (Northern Hemisphere) applies to you.
Our entire modern world has been shaped by war, which in turn came at the expense of many lives – many innocent lives.
They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning,
We will remember them.