January 19, 2018
A little more than 100 years ago, a war in Europe decimated our country’s youth, our financial stability, and our social structure. It also laid waste to lands of the continent. The awfulness of that war shaped the thinking of young and old. “Never again,” they said. “We will not allow it.”
Yet, within a few short years, history repeated itself. The warnings were clear, a military scenario was taking shape; troops recruited, trained, armaments commissioned, and rapid transit roads built. An army preparing for war? No, of course not. Britain was assured there was nothing to fear. A country’s army is needed merely to defend itself, not to engage in war. Confirmed in writing.
And then all hell broke loose.
Now we hear the drum beat of a new army in the making, only this time bigger, better, and bristling with new technology. A joint European army. Again we are assured that there is nothing to fear, it’s merely a defence requirement or an obligation to assist in our neighbours’ security. Is history about to repeat itself once more?
I wonder if today’s people are aware of the gruesome consequences of that blood-thirsty period of European history – and see no danger. Maybe it’s just us oldies who remember the reality. The cry ‘lest we forget’ was once etched in stone, but time blurs even the memories of those who lived through it.
Will our grandchildren be saying “Never again”, “We will not allow it”?
If there are any survivors, of course.
Derek M Staples
A surviving 85-year-old retiree.