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Lest We Forget

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 1:32 pm Wed 29th August 2018

It was just a little scrap of recent news; the history department complaining about the reduction in funding for that department but it made the news. Somebody thought it important and contacted the media, and somebody else thought it important enough to print the story, and in our ideologically driven institutes of learning, perhaps it is more important than the minimal attention it received from us.

Did you or would you have clicked into that link?

Then I saw this. I think I knew that we were involved in the Borneo and Malaysia conflicts – but really, I’m not sure because I can’t remember another single fact that would confirm this.

And then the bottom line, the all familiar phrase that gets dusted off each year when Anzac Day comes around.

“Lest we Forget.”

It’s a misunderstood saying. One that you can see many speakers including politicians take to mean, to remember what happened.

We’ve done that. There’s a memorial. We are not there to renew our dedication to the event or the day.

So what does it really mean?

It’s not so much a saying but a concept that goes hand in hand with the memorial and the memory.

It asks a question of each of us, in our contemporary environment can we explain the reason for this event. Can we take this memory and turn it into words so that the understanding is transmitted from generation to generation and never lost.

In in uttering this phrase “lest we forget” we are not offering up a self-serving emotional platitude that allows us to feel we have honoured those who made this sacrifice for us. Rather we are accepting the demand it places on us to be vigilant on every other day of the year in our ability to understand, to pass on, and to make good use of what is known.

The previous post is about our homeless men: Casualties of our country rather than for our country?

Are they a reminder to us, primarily, that we are not meeting our obligation to this concept? That while those at the coal face consider how best to help, the rest of us should be asking how did we end up here?

Looking back on the early records of our parliamentary debates and speeches, the sentiment I find embodied in our history is more along the lines of …

We know what we have escaped from and we have the greatest opportunity yet not to bring the same misfortune upon ourselves in this new land.


  1. Before we can understand ‘lest we forget’, we need to understand what happened and why it happened. Why did The European population go from 30% of world figures to now 5% (or 8% of you count mixed race people who identify as Europeans). Why were millions of young men sacrificed when it was not only avoidable, it was a Holy Roman 30 year war that was in fact almost impossible to start because no one wanted it. But if no one wanted either WW1 or WW2, how did they get started? Who benefited? These are questions we should ask so that we know what we are not to forget

    Comment by freaked out — Wed 29th August 2018 @ 6:22 pm

  2. …and for the 6204 NZ’ers lost to suicide in the past decade, Lest we Forget. casualties of our modern society.. society too busy to be the ear, the shoulder, the rock, the friend?

    Comment by mama — Wed 29th August 2018 @ 7:14 pm

  3. Wars took our brightest and fittest fathers and young men.

    These were the men who would;
    Protect their sons and daughters.
    Who would stand up.
    Who embraced free speech.
    Who would make sure their son had good role models.
    Who made sure their daughters were loved, protected and had good male role models to gauge their suitors against.

    Now days the Family Court makes sure the fathers have gone, who does the departure not wars. Its the court and make no mistake this is the played for contrived outcome.

    Children of absent fathers often have a life of the involvement of lawyers, court, police, judges. Guess who has the ability to ensure certain outcomes for these children?

    Is it Lawyer, court, cops, judges?

    Why was this so called Family Court established?
    Anything changed since the early days of “get rid of the father”?
    Could it be to allow those who benefit to perpetuate?
    Is it time to unite?
    Yes it is!!

    Comment by Brad — Wed 29th August 2018 @ 9:35 pm

  4. when is the conscription coming to my town.

    Comment by mama — Wed 29th August 2018 @ 9:50 pm

  5. today I got to put the shit away, out of sight, hopefully for life. Thought of putting it under the rug but that would mean crossing it still everyday, everyday like the years spent before with the worry and loss of my little grand daughter…lest I forget…

    Comment by mama — Thu 30th August 2018 @ 5:18 pm

  6. It’s not right but it’s the best thing for now?

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 30th August 2018 @ 7:11 pm

  7. leaving and leaving it open is his way forward for now, I heard today that a protection order only lasts for two years, is this so?, and if so, if the so called victim wants to they can re establish it like keeping your vehicle on hold? how does it work?

    Comment by mama — Thu 30th August 2018 @ 7:50 pm

  8. I thought they lasted forever.

    But things change.

    What happens with this now?

    Comment by Evan Myers — Fri 31st August 2018 @ 7:16 am

  9. The two year thing was told me by the community lawyer, but upon googling nz police it is said to be permanent, another said even though said to be permanent it lasts for five years, is this really a grey area, or just flexible to allow case by case decision?

    Comment by mama — Fri 31st August 2018 @ 7:44 am

  10. Is there some confusion between protection orders and these more recent police safety orders?

    Comment by Evan Myers — Fri 31st August 2018 @ 8:10 am

  11. Or maybe they were talking about trespass orders.

    They last 2 years.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Fri 31st August 2018 @ 8:19 am

  12. No she clearly was talking about protection orders…seems strange, maybe depends on circumstance…

    Comment by mama — Fri 31st August 2018 @ 10:37 am

  13. Domestic Violence Act 1995, ss 45, 47

    If you’ve obtained a temporary protection order, it will last for three months. If the respondent doesn’t challenge it, or is unsuccessful in challenging it, it becomes final and permanent after three months.

    A final protection order lasts forever. It will only end if you or the respondent apply to the Family Court to have it cancelled (“discharged”) and the judge decides that the protection order is no longer needed to protect you.

    Comment by Downunder — Fri 31st August 2018 @ 11:48 am

  14. Thank you very much for that downunder, I did think it strange that I had not heard the two year duration that the lawyer spoke of.

    Comment by mama — Fri 31st August 2018 @ 5:08 pm

  15. Oh my god, just recieved the reality of the situation yet again, this is how it is, if you don/t adhere this is your road will take you fourth , a road , no direction, good luck with tha

    Comment by mama — Fri 31st August 2018 @ 9:46 pm

  16. We give up, shoot me quick, ..

    Comment by mama — Fri 31st August 2018 @ 9:49 pm

  17. National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies founding director professor Kevin Clements said the time in which New Zealand surrounded returning soldiers with fanfare had passed.

    He said while troops from the first and second world wars received mass adulation, which ended with the Vietnam War.

    “The country was so divided about the validity of the war.”

    More recently he said Nicky Hager’s controversial Hit & Run case highlighted military acts could be heroic but others “mired in controversy”. 

    “So the notion that mayors would turn out to welcome returning soldiers, I think, is really not appropriate.

    “Why I would be reluctant to distinguish returning soldiers for special acknowledgement is because, I think, there’s far too much attention paid to the role of the warrior in making history, rather than to the role of everybody else who really did make history.”

    The focus should be on becoming a more respectful society and recognising all individuals’ heroism such as volunteers, midwives and teachers.

    Former army major Simon Strombom, who has a Distinguished Service Decoration for work in Afghanistan in 2008, said the country should acknowledge soldiers’ contributions “as it’s a huge risk and commitment to deploy”.

    source of quotes

    Who should be a hero in a Feminist world?

    Comment by Downunder — Sun 9th September 2018 @ 1:03 pm

  18. The ceremony was held at Air New Zealand’s engineering base at Auckland Airport and was restricted to 12 family members of each of the returned men, plus dignitaries, media and some serving military personnel.

    Veterans were only able to view the ceremony from some distance behind a wire fence on the side of the road and often in pouring rain.

    Vietnam Veterans’ Association president Andy Peters said they did ask to be allowed to take part but this was declined.

    “I was told no, there was policy laid down, and that was it.”

    Mr Peters said the veterans would have liked some recognition.

    There is something about this story that stinks of politics.

    This is part of Winston ‘a man for a change’ Peters voting patch.

    It was policy not to allow veterans to participate. It is not just a war they fought in but a place where they watched their brothers die. Says a lot for the political commitment to the ideological family.

    Comment by Downunder — Tue 11th September 2018 @ 12:02 pm

  19. At the 11th hour the guns fell silent.

    Tomorrow, Sunday the 11th of November, is a century since the Armistice of World War One.

    Comment by Downunder — Sat 10th November 2018 @ 9:26 am

  20. Maybe I am wrong and missed it,,, where was a government representative on Armistice day and why was the PM not there…

    Comment by mama — Mon 12th November 2018 @ 7:29 am

  21. I think the PM and the Gov were at a ceremony in Wellytown.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 12th November 2018 @ 8:22 am

  22. I watched the One news , saw Wellington too but no interviews with government.

    Comment by mama — Mon 12th November 2018 @ 8:55 am

  23. No video interview but yes she was there,,, the PM in Wellington, Armistice Day 2018.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Armistice Centenary is an opportunity for New Zealanders to reflect on the past, while also looking towards the future.

    Speaking at the Armistice Day National Ceremony in Wellington this morning, she said today was for reflecting on the human toll of war, but also a reminder to value the living and to hold fast to hope.

    “In a world where conflict remains all too prevalent, we look to how we can achieve a better future,” she said.

    “We think of our commitment as a nation to the ideals of peace, multilateralism and inclusion.”

    INCLUSION…hmmmm …especially if you do not have a union.

    Comment by mama — Mon 12th November 2018 @ 9:10 am

  24. Wikipedia quote from Multilateralism…as part of a nation this is not necessarily my ideal…

    These multilateral institutions are not imposed on states, but are created and accepted by them in order to increase their ability to seek their own interests through the coordination of their policies. Moreover, they serve as frameworks that constrain opportunistic behavior and encourage coordination by facilitating the exchange of information about the actual behavior of states with reference to the standards to which they have consented.

    Comment by mama — Mon 12th November 2018 @ 10:27 am

  25. #1- Why do wars happen?
    War is the business of murder and the only way for banks to encroach on human freedom and state independence and sovereignty using democracy as a weapon for mass slavery

    Comment by JustCurious — Mon 12th November 2018 @ 7:06 pm

  26. Why do wars happen.

    Stole a woman.
    Mental illness.
    Empire building.
    Ethnic cleansing.
    Population control.

    Kills lots of men so more ladies for the survivors. Especially those ordering the battle.
    Post WW1 and WW2 men could be picky, ladies pretty much said yes to any offer.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Mon 12th November 2018 @ 8:06 pm

  27. The world got too small about four thousand years ago.

    We’ve been fighting each other every since.

    Comment by Downunder — Mon 12th November 2018 @ 8:19 pm

  28. Lest we forget again … that’s every other day of the year that we promise not to.

    Comment by Evan Myers — Thu 25th April 2019 @ 8:22 am

  29. I read a good book on Gallipoli once.
    It depicted well circumstances.
    I found myself trying to be them.
    To be in the situation of seeing a wave of men die.
    And you are next.

    It is a difficult place to be.
    Humans can be very strange.
    It’s obviously part of nature.
    Like many insects that die for the common good.
    Unless your on the losing side.

    In hindsight most conflict is pointless.
    I remember some amazing pictures.
    Ships from horizon to horizon.
    The might of Americans.
    At war.

    So not always pointless.
    Sometimes your forced into it.
    Imagine the same effort.
    Sending humans out the colonise the solar system
    Not war.

    Lest we forget.

    Why the sacrifice.
    So humans can be magnificent.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Tue 12th January 2021 @ 9:28 pm

  30. A poem I wrote in my early 20s.
    Has a WW1 reference.

    Dainty little flower.
    Nature’s utmost power.
    With fragrance in the air.
    Blossoming with vigour.
    And do I really care.

    Buy a rose on valentines.
    Your seductive ploy.
    Rummage through, vines entwine.
    Seizing with your bouquet.
    The trivial pursuit.

    Tinge my horizon.
    Poppies blood red.
    Tripping in your hue.
    A brave man once bled.
    Nothing I can do.

    Only to catch a buzzing bee.
    With nectar flavoured candy.
    Next to nothing for him to see.
    Beget with shrewd power.
    Dainty little flower.


    Sadly those men.
    Those brave men.
    Would be saddened.
    If I could go speak to them.

    Telling them, those that command them.
    Would sacrifice them.
    In bloody fields.
    Sadly of men today, they would see.

    I think.
    They would loosen sadness, quickly.
    Grab there bravery, in contempt.
    And be angry with it.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Sun 25th April 2021 @ 5:49 pm

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