Letter to the Editor: Stop celebrating war!

Letter to the Editor: Stop celebrating war!

Letter to the Editor: Stop celebrating war!

First published in Letters
Last updated

One minute it's the continuing World War 1 commemorations, the next it's the anniversary of D-Day, and World War 2. When will it stop? To celebrate heroic fighting is one thing, but war itself should never be celebrated. Neither should those who took us there.

It is interesting to see how certain people are trying to re-write history, especially World War 1. And, after all, history is written by the victors. So let me just fill your readers in on a few facts about D-Day that they might not have seen in the recent coverage.

Winston Churchill was against D-Day. He was far more interested in holding on to our empire, and especially our trade routes to India via the Mediterranean Sea. That's why between Dunkirk (1940), and D-Day (1944), the British barely engaged the German military on land at all. Russia, in effect, won World War 2, by sacrificing millions of troops and gutting Hitler's forces. Stalin urged the allies to open a Western front years earlier, and it was only when President Roosevelt agreed, and Churchill was outvoted, that D-Day went ahead.

In World War 2, Germany's leaders let loose a military that created havoc throughout much of Europe, but then Britain and her allies then committed atrocities of our own. We bombed many thousands of innocent civilians in Germany, and other occupied countries. The U.S. dropped two unnecessary atomic bombs, and on another occasion, in a single night, killed 100,000 people by bombing Tokyo. War poisons everyone who participates, including us.

Lastly, I heard that D-Day lead to decades of peace. Tell that to Vietnamese, Koreans, Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, Panamanians, Cubans, Egyptians (Suez), Chileans, Palestinians, and Nicaraguans. I'm sure there's more.

Colin
Tooting

 

Comments (16)

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7:27am Fri 13 Jun 14

Hugh Dunnit says...

When you learn the difference between celebration and commemoration, come back to us.
When you learn the difference between celebration and commemoration, come back to us. Hugh Dunnit
  • Score: 43

8:00am Fri 13 Jun 14

DivineMrsMac says...

What a pity that you don't see that people want to honour those who fought for us and our liberty years ago - both those who died and those still alive. We know war is a terrible thing, but ignoring significant historical events does not make them go away. Be proud of our soldiers and what they do for us in times of war and hope that never again do we have to face a World War.
What a pity that you don't see that people want to honour those who fought for us and our liberty years ago - both those who died and those still alive. We know war is a terrible thing, but ignoring significant historical events does not make them go away. Be proud of our soldiers and what they do for us in times of war and hope that never again do we have to face a World War. DivineMrsMac
  • Score: 33

12:31pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Michael Pantlin says...

We need to be reminded of the terrible consequences of war to encourage us to do our utmost to avoid a repetition.
We need to be reminded of the terrible consequences of war to encourage us to do our utmost to avoid a repetition. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 36

6:46pm Fri 13 Jun 14

GreenBrown says...

I think it's important to remember these things. Sadly, from where I'm standing, here in 2014, we shouldn't have bothered. All that sacrifice and for what, so we could slowly be taken over in the decades after WW2. They fought for liberty and keeping hold of our democracy only to go and give it all away to un-elected bureaucrats in Brussels. I think if we had the opportunity to show all the men that fought in the wars what was coming in the future, they'd of stayed at home. Imagine a proud tommy who came from Bradford being shown what his effort achieved down the line. He'd be disgusted.
I think it's important to remember these things. Sadly, from where I'm standing, here in 2014, we shouldn't have bothered. All that sacrifice and for what, so we could slowly be taken over in the decades after WW2. They fought for liberty and keeping hold of our democracy only to go and give it all away to un-elected bureaucrats in Brussels. I think if we had the opportunity to show all the men that fought in the wars what was coming in the future, they'd of stayed at home. Imagine a proud tommy who came from Bradford being shown what his effort achieved down the line. He'd be disgusted. GreenBrown
  • Score: -1

10:40am Sat 14 Jun 14

buggsie says...

All good comments - article written by some brain dead ****.
We need to remember those who gave their lives for our freedom many years back.
Rather a shame what our greedy politicians have allowed to happen to the UK in the last few decades.
All good comments - article written by some brain dead ****. We need to remember those who gave their lives for our freedom many years back. Rather a shame what our greedy politicians have allowed to happen to the UK in the last few decades. buggsie
  • Score: 25

2:31pm Sat 14 Jun 14

D Hoole says...

I agree with comments far. I also question the letter's version of history. I'm no war scholar, but what was the British Eighth Army doing in that time frame? Battling the German Afrika Corps for 18 months from late '41, then invading Sicily and Italy. Europe was a fortress occupied by a war machine, and it inevitably took years to reduce the Axis powers to that region (plus the Far East etc) before an incredibly difficult invasion by air and sea at Normandy could be launched.
No doubt Russia and the Eastern Front was essential, and their sacrifice was greater than ours I would agree, but the writer just sounds like the tired old lefties who say that Britain was self-interested and rubbish, while the great soviet socialist Bear was the saviour of humankind. I don't think so.
I agree with comments far. I also question the letter's version of history. I'm no war scholar, but what was the British Eighth Army doing in that time frame? Battling the German Afrika Corps for 18 months from late '41, then invading Sicily and Italy. Europe was a fortress occupied by a war machine, and it inevitably took years to reduce the Axis powers to that region (plus the Far East etc) before an incredibly difficult invasion by air and sea at Normandy could be launched. No doubt Russia and the Eastern Front was essential, and their sacrifice was greater than ours I would agree, but the writer just sounds like the tired old lefties who say that Britain was self-interested and rubbish, while the great soviet socialist Bear was the saviour of humankind. I don't think so. D Hoole
  • Score: 23

10:29pm Sat 14 Jun 14

foxtrotoscar007 says...

What about the evacuation of Dunkirk with our flotilla of small boats, fishing boats etc. ... What were our troops ddoing over there......
What about the evacuation of Dunkirk with our flotilla of small boats, fishing boats etc. ... What were our troops ddoing over there...... foxtrotoscar007
  • Score: 8

7:39pm Sun 15 Jun 14

D Hoole says...

Good question. Over 300,000 of them were positioned on the French border with neutral Belgium and Holland, awaiting the Germans. In other words, they were fully committed to the European theatre when it was possible to do that. They had crossed the channel to France with ease, but once they had evacuated and the Germans had prepared their 'Atlantic Wall' it would never be easy again.
Good question. Over 300,000 of them were positioned on the French border with neutral Belgium and Holland, awaiting the Germans. In other words, they were fully committed to the European theatre when it was possible to do that. They had crossed the channel to France with ease, but once they had evacuated and the Germans had prepared their 'Atlantic Wall' it would never be easy again. D Hoole
  • Score: 10

8:02pm Mon 16 Jun 14

Monstermunch17 says...

Hugh Dunnit wrote:
When you learn the difference between celebration and commemoration, come back to us.
That's the problem - people are not commemorating the dead. There is rarely mention of the huge loss of life on the other side, or the futility and tragedy of it all.

Which is why we keep repeating our mistakes, and sending more young men up hillsides thousands of miles away to be shot at, in conditions utterly alien to them, in parts of the world they don't belong. People buy poppies, but gone is the whole idea that it should never happen again. More and more in this country people are encouraged to fetishise the military. People bow their heads in communal silences then happily vote for the next US-led imperial crusade to defend the pipeline.
[quote][p][bold]Hugh Dunnit[/bold] wrote: When you learn the difference between celebration and commemoration, come back to us.[/p][/quote]That's the problem - people are not commemorating the dead. There is rarely mention of the huge loss of life on the other side, or the futility and tragedy of it all. Which is why we keep repeating our mistakes, and sending more young men up hillsides thousands of miles away to be shot at, in conditions utterly alien to them, in parts of the world they don't belong. People buy poppies, but gone is the whole idea that it should never happen again. More and more in this country people are encouraged to fetishise the military. People bow their heads in communal silences then happily vote for the next US-led imperial crusade to defend the pipeline. Monstermunch17
  • Score: -8

12:53pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Screaming123 says...

I wear a poppy with pride, I think of every soldier that fought for us and put their lives on the line. The soldiers that never knew their young family or died too young to have a family of their own.

My Great Grandfather was taken captive at the Battle or Arnhem, for that I smile with pride as he fought for his country and for family he would never meet.

What hurts and upsets me now is when you look around and you get the younger generations who are more concerned with colour, who has the bigger gun and the school dictating to our children and raising them with the who gives a s**t attitude, I despair.

We need to seriously think about going back to basics and learning from the generation that lived through the wars and learn to respect again
I wear a poppy with pride, I think of every soldier that fought for us and put their lives on the line. The soldiers that never knew their young family or died too young to have a family of their own. My Great Grandfather was taken captive at the Battle or Arnhem, for that I smile with pride as he fought for his country and for family he would never meet. What hurts and upsets me now is when you look around and you get the younger generations who are more concerned with colour, who has the bigger gun and the school dictating to our children and raising them with the who gives a s**t attitude, I despair. We need to seriously think about going back to basics and learning from the generation that lived through the wars and learn to respect again Screaming123
  • Score: 17

4:13pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Sutton53 says...

Nobody is 'celebrating' any War that happened, we are remembering/commemor
ating those loved ones we have lost along the way. I don't 'celebrate' when I travel to Belgium to visit my relative's grave. I go there to mourn the loss and to pay my respects. I know women who never married after losing their fiances fighting they don't 'celebrate' their loss they still mourn and remember.
Nobody is 'celebrating' any War that happened, we are remembering/commemor ating those loved ones we have lost along the way. I don't 'celebrate' when I travel to Belgium to visit my relative's grave. I go there to mourn the loss and to pay my respects. I know women who never married after losing their fiances fighting they don't 'celebrate' their loss they still mourn and remember. Sutton53
  • Score: 20

10:40am Wed 18 Jun 14

worldlyman2013 says...

I think it's wonderful that we remember those who were forced to go to war, most never to return.

We are far too obsessed now with the 'trendy' help 4 heroes stuff - brave people indeed but they choose to do it. In the past men were basically taken from their homes and families and forced to go to war, and their bravery has enabled us to now take for granted the materialistic, lazy and selfish world we live in.

No-one is celebrating war, but forever we should always remember those who had no say in giving their lives for our freedom.
I think it's wonderful that we remember those who were forced to go to war, most never to return. We are far too obsessed now with the 'trendy' help 4 heroes stuff - brave people indeed but they choose to do it. In the past men were basically taken from their homes and families and forced to go to war, and their bravery has enabled us to now take for granted the materialistic, lazy and selfish world we live in. No-one is celebrating war, but forever we should always remember those who had no say in giving their lives for our freedom. worldlyman2013
  • Score: 13

8:12pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Monstermunch17 says...

Screaming123 wrote:
I wear a poppy with pride, I think of every soldier that fought for us and put their lives on the line. The soldiers that never knew their young family or died too young to have a family of their own. My Great Grandfather was taken captive at the Battle or Arnhem, for that I smile with pride as he fought for his country and for family he would never meet. What hurts and upsets me now is when you look around and you get the younger generations who are more concerned with colour, who has the bigger gun and the school dictating to our children and raising them with the who gives a s**t attitude, I despair. We need to seriously think about going back to basics and learning from the generation that lived through the wars and learn to respect again
Does that include the ones dropping bombs into gatherings in Afghan villages? Or the ones taking indecent photos of bound and gagged prisoners? Or the ones pressing buttons from hundreds of miles away sending deadly drones into civilian areas? Are they heroes too?

Not all war is straight out of Boys Own, it's a bit more nuanced than that.
[quote][p][bold]Screaming123[/bold] wrote: I wear a poppy with pride, I think of every soldier that fought for us and put their lives on the line. The soldiers that never knew their young family or died too young to have a family of their own. My Great Grandfather was taken captive at the Battle or Arnhem, for that I smile with pride as he fought for his country and for family he would never meet. What hurts and upsets me now is when you look around and you get the younger generations who are more concerned with colour, who has the bigger gun and the school dictating to our children and raising them with the who gives a s**t attitude, I despair. We need to seriously think about going back to basics and learning from the generation that lived through the wars and learn to respect again[/p][/quote]Does that include the ones dropping bombs into gatherings in Afghan villages? Or the ones taking indecent photos of bound and gagged prisoners? Or the ones pressing buttons from hundreds of miles away sending deadly drones into civilian areas? Are they heroes too? Not all war is straight out of Boys Own, it's a bit more nuanced than that. Monstermunch17
  • Score: -11

8:50pm Sun 29 Jun 14

ResidentTony says...

It's recognition of the tragic sacrifices which should not have happened, but sadly did. It should be a time for people to say: "never again".

Anticipate conflict and sort it out before it gets out of hand. That way we could prevent a lot of wars. "Jaw jaw is better than war war"; and that's an understatement.
It's recognition of the tragic sacrifices which should not have happened, but sadly did. It should be a time for people to say: "never again". Anticipate conflict and sort it out before it gets out of hand. That way we could prevent a lot of wars. "Jaw jaw is better than war war"; and that's an understatement. ResidentTony
  • Score: 3

12:26pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Screaming123 says...

Monstermunch17 wrote:
Screaming123 wrote:
I wear a poppy with pride, I think of every soldier that fought for us and put their lives on the line. The soldiers that never knew their young family or died too young to have a family of their own. My Great Grandfather was taken captive at the Battle or Arnhem, for that I smile with pride as he fought for his country and for family he would never meet. What hurts and upsets me now is when you look around and you get the younger generations who are more concerned with colour, who has the bigger gun and the school dictating to our children and raising them with the who gives a s**t attitude, I despair. We need to seriously think about going back to basics and learning from the generation that lived through the wars and learn to respect again
Does that include the ones dropping bombs into gatherings in Afghan villages? Or the ones taking indecent photos of bound and gagged prisoners? Or the ones pressing buttons from hundreds of miles away sending deadly drones into civilian areas? Are they heroes too?

Not all war is straight out of Boys Own, it's a bit more nuanced than that.
Monstermunch17, I reiterate what I said...What hurts and upsets me now is when you look around and you get the younger generations who are more concerned with colour, who has the bigger gun and the school dictating to our children and raising them with the who gives a s**t attitude, I despair. We need to seriously think about going back to basics and learning from the generation that lived through the wars and learn to respect again

The individuals that take the photos, get their jollies from destroying families, villages for the hell of it need to be dealt with as individuals.

Where did I say war was straight out of Boys Own (or Boyzone if you were referring to the pop group).

I am a strong believer that our soldiers of now need to look at how soldiers of the past behaved, treated people and how they took pride in what they did and what war stood for.

War now is over who has more oil and who has bigger guns.

This country used to be a country where free speech was allowed, therefore the previous post I made was my freedom of speech. Everyone has a right to think and say what they feel, but mindless morons would like us to keep quiet and do as we are told.
[quote][p][bold]Monstermunch17[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Screaming123[/bold] wrote: I wear a poppy with pride, I think of every soldier that fought for us and put their lives on the line. The soldiers that never knew their young family or died too young to have a family of their own. My Great Grandfather was taken captive at the Battle or Arnhem, for that I smile with pride as he fought for his country and for family he would never meet. What hurts and upsets me now is when you look around and you get the younger generations who are more concerned with colour, who has the bigger gun and the school dictating to our children and raising them with the who gives a s**t attitude, I despair. We need to seriously think about going back to basics and learning from the generation that lived through the wars and learn to respect again[/p][/quote]Does that include the ones dropping bombs into gatherings in Afghan villages? Or the ones taking indecent photos of bound and gagged prisoners? Or the ones pressing buttons from hundreds of miles away sending deadly drones into civilian areas? Are they heroes too? Not all war is straight out of Boys Own, it's a bit more nuanced than that.[/p][/quote]Monstermunch17, I reiterate what I said...What hurts and upsets me now is when you look around and you get the younger generations who are more concerned with colour, who has the bigger gun and the school dictating to our children and raising them with the who gives a s**t attitude, I despair. We need to seriously think about going back to basics and learning from the generation that lived through the wars and learn to respect again The individuals that take the photos, get their jollies from destroying families, villages for the hell of it need to be dealt with as individuals. Where did I say war was straight out of Boys Own (or Boyzone if you were referring to the pop group). I am a strong believer that our soldiers of now need to look at how soldiers of the past behaved, treated people and how they took pride in what they did and what war stood for. War now is over who has more oil and who has bigger guns. This country used to be a country where free speech was allowed, therefore the previous post I made was my freedom of speech. Everyone has a right to think and say what they feel, but mindless morons would like us to keep quiet and do as we are told. Screaming123
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Wed 2 Jul 14

balhamite says...

Why is this idiotic letter still being highlighted in every daily online edition of the Wandsworth Guardian. It was originally published on 12 June and now it is 2 July .... come on Wandsworth Guardian, surely you get more than 1 letter every 3 weeks?!
Why is this idiotic letter still being highlighted in every daily online edition of the Wandsworth Guardian. It was originally published on 12 June and now it is 2 July .... come on Wandsworth Guardian, surely you get more than 1 letter every 3 weeks?! balhamite
  • Score: 1

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