Today is Veterans or Remembrance Day in many countries. Veterans of great and small conflicts over the last 100 years are honoured and rightly so.
Their numbers are dwindling, there cannot be any surviving veterans from WWI, even if by lying about their ages and joining up at 15 or 16, as many did, they would have to be 112 now to have served in the last year of that war.
The ranks of Second World War Veterans are thinning fast, the youngest now well into their 80s.
Veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars are all Baby Boomers or seniors. Those of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns are the only middle-aged and younger veterans.
Most of my fellow veterans from the terrorist war in Rhodesia and those from the South West African and Angolan conflicts are now over 60, all over 50.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as terrible as they were for those involved, were not global conflicts. They attracted interest from the relatively small section of the world’s population that supplied the troops. A handful of Nato member countries and a few others.
Will Remembrance or Veterans day itself become a casualty of the passage of time as fewer veterans – from any wars – are still around to attend parades each year?
I hope not, but suspect that this important day of Remembrance will not continue much beyond the life spans of today’s primary school children.
Unless great efforts are made by concerned people to ensure its survival, it will become yet another victim of political correctness, replaced by a day to honour some minority group clamouring for its “rights” without considering that contribution and sacrifice are what should be remembered. Not whining demands for special treatment.