Today it is ANZAC Day in Australia. For those of you from other countries ANZAC stands for "Australia and New Zealand Army Corps" and it is the day we remember our soldiers who suffered and/or died in war, especially World War One. Australians, for some reason unknown to me, specifically think of the bravery of our soldiers in Gallipoli. Gallipoli was a big mess up by the British and Australian lives were lost because of their poor tactics.
Today I forgot it was ANZAC Day. I got up early to do the grocery shopping. All the shops were shut except McDonalds. I ate at McDonalds then went back to the supermarket. Still closed. There were other people milling around outside the entrance. No one seemed to know what was going on. I went back to McDonalds and there learned the truth. The shops would open at midday. The morning was for ANZAC Day.
I am always unsure what I should feel when ANZAC Day comes around. My father's family are Quakers, and therefore pacificists and I have been deeply influenced by their beliefs. My grandfather on my mother's side didn't go to war, I think because he was needed to farm the land and provide food. My maternal grandmother's brother - Uncle Bill - went to the second World War and was taken prisoner by the Japanese. He didn't talk about it at all until shortly before his death and even then not to me.
So what I'm getting around to saying is that I don't know what war is like or how I feel about it. I have never been affected enough by war to really experience its ramifications and my imagination isn't good enough (or gory enough) to imagine them.
I can appreciate that many young men gave up so much because they loved our nation and I can understand how much they must have suffered. But only intellectually. I don't know it.
On the other hand I can also appreciate what pacificists say - war is awful and should be avoided at all costs. Although I have never seen how terrible war is it doesn't take a genuis to know that it's not a good thing.
So there you have it - my confused response to ANZAC Day.
A reminder to please keep me in your prayers regarding my housing situation.