Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How well do you honour the past?

Took the following from a friend‘s blog. (She is currently living in Papua New Guinea.)
“Today ******* and I went to Sohano Island, which sits in the Buka Passage, that is the small bit of ocean between Bougainville and Buka Island. There are some war memorials at Sohano and I visited them on your behalf.
The Australian memorial was a bit off the beaten track! It wasn't very far, but the path to it was almost non-existent and we ended up with lots of prickly burrs in our clothes for our effort! The first 3 photos above are of this memorial. I think the words are pretty clear on the first picture, but the second one is a bit harder to see – it says: In memory of the service given by the coast watchers and the loyal natives who assisted them 1939-1945.
The Japanese war memorial was more prominent and we just walked on nice short grass to get to it… You can see it from the sea when you are travelling on a motor boat as it is at the top of a hill at a point on the island.”
I found it interesting and even a little disturbing, to find that one side, (the winning side) neglects their memorials to the dead, while the other (The side that lost) maintains their memorials to the long departed.
All of which made me wonder, with Anzac Day coming up fast this month, if I really truly honour the past, or simply pay it lip service, one or two days a year, and then promptly forget about it the rest of the time? How about you? Are you any better at honouring the Past than me?

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