We passed a quiet Armistice Day Sunday here at home, with the only exciting interruption being a fly-past from two Tiger Moths and a Stearman. They ground on over the house and shook themselves into a rough formation for a pass near the Air Force retirement home. Then I daresay they paddled over to the main commemorative service in Kings Park and thence down past Government House. Unlike the annual pass by the RAAF cadets when they graduate and have saved up enough money for fuel, the biplanes at least go slow enough to give you a chance to see them.
We’d been poppied to a fare thee well in that last fortnight. Also lest we forgetted and all the other stock activities of popular culture. The 💯 th year anniversary of the Armistice was done pretty well by the end of the day.
But will the business of sentimental remembrance advance at all? Will we have any notice taken of the events of 1919? They were pretty shattering in themselves…revolutions, armed expeditions, a pandemic that killed millions…but I’m betting the social culture and the media will not pick up on it. They’ll reset the mechanism to lest we forget and the popular memes of poppies, diggers, and fallen heroes. It is too ingrained to change.
An interesting thought…when actually are we allowed to forget and what exactly are we allowed to let go? I’ll bet 95% of Facebook patriots have never heard of the Ashanti War, or the Prusso-Danish War, or anything else from the 19th century. They would be hard pressed to remember Gettysburg or the Siege of Lucknow. And they definitely will not be allowed to remember the Boxer Rebellion if the current Chinese government has anything to say about it. There will be no ” 55 Days At Beijing “. All forgotten. No money to be made. No memes to post. Nothing to see here. Keep moving.
I am hoping for one thing – that the remake of ” The Dambusters ” will actually take place. Of course they still have to get over the name of the dog, but I daresay they’ll make some accommodation with the lobbyists…