In Australia, far removed geographically and by generations from major conflict, it’s easy to be ambivalent about Remembrance Day. War is a terrible thing, and the arguments that Remembrance Day glorifies militarised violence carry a lot of weight when we see so many conflicts around the globe driven by ignorance, fear and greed.
Moving to Europe, however has lent a new perspective on the importance of Remembrance Day. We live in a time when travel and communication are incredibly easy. It is not difficult to contact your loved ones, see their faces on a screen, hear their voices, keep up to date with their lives and experiences and share your own. Yet even so, living overseas can be an incredibly lonely and isolating experience at times. And it is in those times that I can only begin to grasp the enormity of what the ordinary men serving in the World Wars did.