What would I have done, if I was living during the time of the first World War?
Anzac Day, the day when Australians and New Zealanders commemorate the landing of the ANZACs on Gallipoli in 1915, has caused me to really reflect this year.
What would I do? If my country was calling people to fight, as they were in the Great War, would I let those close to me go? Would I go myself? Many young men entered the Great War thinking it was a grand and glorious thing, to find it to be a devastation, to all involved. War is never glorious. Would I still step into war, even though history shows me the tragedy of it?
If war came to my country, what would I do? If I fled, would other countries take me in? If I was called to, would I stay to help my country? Could I have gathered the courage to be a nurse, tending to the soldiers in the trenches in France? Could I have been a war correspondent in the second World War in Germany, right in the thick of the violence, hatred and chaos? Could I lay my life on the line like that to serve others?
On that note, what about the present day? If I were a doctor, would I be able to go to heal the wounded and sick in Afghanistan? How would I cope if I were a journalist in a dangerous Ukraine? Or if someone I loved was part of the peacekeeping troops in Iraq?
I admire the courage of those men and women who step out to serve their country and those in need, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, in times of war. But I wish it was not necessary – that we could be a world without war. My heart bleeds to see men, women and children lose their lives, get torn apart, have to face the unbearable weight of tragedy and fear, because we live in a broken world.
Would I be brave enough to be willing to face terror and strife? Would I be brave enough to be willing to sacrifice my life? I’m not sure. For the people who were brave enough, I will remember them.