Five reasons to remember this Remembrance Day
To commemorate Remembrance Day 2020, we spoke to the Head of the Department of Politics, Professor Amelia Hadfield, who explained why it’s so important to remember those who died serving in the line of duty.
- There are deaths on all sides during a conflict, and untold suffering afterwards. We need to remember that the effects of wars continue long after an armistice, impacting people from all faiths, cultures, beliefs and background, physically and emotionally, individually and collectively.
- We need to remember the core principles of personal and political freedom, as well as basic human rights, the rule of law and democracy, over which wars were fought, and work to uphold them.
- We need to consider the risks of understanding conflicts in simple terms of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’; doing so leads to ongoing geopolitical tensions, unresolved antagonisms between key communities, and can blight the ability of future generations to seek avenues for reconciliation and peace.
- War is the costliest way of solving problems. We need to remember that there were other options prior to outbreaks of war in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and recommit ourselves to supporting diplomacy instead of resorting to conflict.
- Interpreting ‘remembrance’ widely reminds us of the ongoing confrontations, hostilities and tensions that still occur daily around the world, and the political, social and economic deprivation they cause as a result.
Professor Hadfield added a poignant quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”