Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, 15 August 2015, marking VP Day
Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free…….The first line of our national anthem – we sing it often, but how often do we really ponder its meaning? Life’s paradox is that what is most important to us, too often we are tempted to take for granted – families that love us and give meaning to our lives; political, economic and religious freedoms; being an Australian and carrying an Australian passport. We are free in no small way as a consequence of the events that bring us here today to commemorate the end of the Second World War in the Pacific and all that had preceded it.
Spanning six years, this cataclysm is the most destructive conflict in human history. The defeat of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial, Militarist Japan – claimed 60 million lives; 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. A life was extinguished every three seconds.
Filed under atrocities, Australian culture, australian media, cultural transmission, Fascism, historical interpretation, law of armed conflict, life stories, military strategy, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, war crimes, war reportage, world events & processes
Tissa Jayatilaka, courtesy of Groundviews, 14 August 2015, anniversary marking Japan’ surrender in World War Two … and thus its end. See Editorial Note at end. In GV the title reads “Sights of violence, sites of memory: Reframing the past.”
The subject of war, memory, memorials, memorialization and the violence of the state has been rekindled both domestically and internationally in recent weeks. Sri Lanka’s ongoing general election campaign has focused on our long and brutal internecine war and the need for reconciliation. Internationally the 70th anniversary of the awful events in Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been observed. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial commonly called the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It serves as a memorial to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August, 1945. Over 70, 000 is reported killed instantly and a similar number is said to have suffered fatal injuries from radiation. Bombs were dropped on Nagasaki on 9 August, 1945. Nagasaki’s Atomic Bomb Museum was built in 2003 around the only structure left standing near the bomb’s hypocenter. Some locals opposed the building of the Atomic Bomb Museum while some others were for it. It is now 70 years since the dropping of atomic bombs by the United States. Postwar Japan limited its military to self defence. Now Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’ plans to loosen the restrictions on what Japan’s military can do. Opinion is divided as most in Nagasaki and Hiroshima continue to be supportive of peace and disarmament. According to the Mayor of Nagasaki Tomihisha Taue , there is ‘widespread unease’ about Mr. Abe’ s legislation that will alter the constitutional requirement limiting Japan’s military to self defence.
Kanchanaburi cemetery in Thailand
Dawn at SL Army Memorial Elephant Pass
Tamil maaveerar at Vadamaratchchi Tuyilam Illam, 2004
Filed under accountability, atrocities, Fascism, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, nationalism, patriotism, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, power politics, reconciliation, riots and pogroms, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, tolerance, truth as casualty of war, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry, Zen at war