The English dictionary points out that the word remembrance has two primary definitions.
First: The ability to recall past occurrences
Second: A recognition of meritorious service .
Originally called ”Armistice Day”, the intent and purpose of this day was to remember the end of World War One. Today, at 11am Australia will stop for a minutes silence to reflect on the loss of life and sacrifices made to defeat ideology, militarily (G. Veith).
Historians still debate who fired the first shot of World War One. Tensions and technology were advancing at an unstoppable rate, empires had reached their peak. Words like aristocracy and colonialism were still part of the vernacular. With this the West, and parts of the East, marched into war with pride, song and the assurance of experts, who entertained the general notion that there was “no-need for God, through progress humanity can save itself”.
As horrific human toll of nations wielding sabre and sickle against nations began to tally, very few continued to hold onto the idea of the “Bella-Epoque“. It was no longer a period of history marked as quintessential proof that ”GOD was dead”. Indeed very few still held to those same romantic, anthropocentric perspectives, which drove men, and some women, naively into the atheist laced sunset of that era.
Karl Barth, who was a Pastor at the time wrote a theological critique with twin propulsion, one driving His theology into the theology of the day and another into its politics: “What we say is not so important, but rather what is being said to us” (2008:Loc. 71-74).
Today, 95 years on, at least 2.1 Billion people from the 53 member states of the Commonwealth of Nations, under God and Queen, will be encouraged to remember the battles of World War One and those like it, as a tragedy.
Today, because of the sacrifice of the few for the many, those citizens will freely choose to reflect for a moment on the problem of war, those affected by it, the heights of human arrogant self-reliance and the cost accrued when blind ideas blind people.
…”It was the silence of the Gallipoli peninsula which most surprised and awed the survivors of the campaign who returned there after the war, the stillness of the cliffs and beaches where nothing much remained of the battle except the awful sight of the white bones of unburied soldiers and the rusting guns along the shore” (Moorehead, 1956:366)
Lest we Forget.
PDF link : create your own Poppy flower, courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.
Busch.E 2008 Barth (Abingdon Pillars of Theology) Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition
Australian War Memorial
Moorehead, A. 1956 The Classic Account of Gallipoli Aurum Press London
Veith, G. 1993 Modern Fascism
 Dictionary program called TheSage – great resource.