We must never forget the fallen heroes in wars and disasters. It is right to grieve what is lost. To linger on what might have been. But what about those who are not dead…yet?

On our ‘world trip’ in 2003, hubby and I did a zip around the world in 5 months. We visited places like Egypt, Rome, New York City and Italia. In France we made a bee-line for Omaha Beach to check out the trenches and pay our respects to the fallen. It was a sombre time. We walked in the footsteps of German soldier in trenches on the beach and read the names of hundreds of fallen soldiers and some forgotten soldiers in the cemetery.

These were horrible times. When in Munich we visited Dachau Concentration Camp and learned all about the atrocities committed there. We heard stories of murdered priests and German soldiers who refused to toe the line, as well as the Jewish people whose only ‘crime’ was being born. It was inconceivable that such evil could exist in such a place, that people could be treated worse than animals, that they were seen as rubbish. The sign at Dachau reads “Never Again” in various languages. One could only hope.

The great thing about these places is that they help us remember the suffering of people in wars and such. We dig into the past to see what happened to our ancestors, where they died, how heroic they were. While it’s good to remember the dead, I worry that in remembering them, we forget about the present ones suffering. They may not be our long lost uncle or 4th cousin, once removed but they are human, they are not just a number.

While people stream to old concentration camps and war memorials, where are the people visiting the living who are suffering? Tears are great for the dead but the living need them more. We need to face the realities that children are dying of preventable diseases today! That there are mosquitos killing our kids and they are OUR kids! Because they are human.

I will never understand how we can’t feed the world. It sounds so simple. I don’t understand why we waste so much money on so much that we don’t need. Just this week, our area has had council cleanups and there are tvs, toys, furniture and the rest simply left out to rot in the rain. We buy, we consume, then we put it out on the nature strip. Surely, there must be a better way. After all sharing is caring. And the West, at the moment has justified hoarding.

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