Friday, 14 November 2008

Looking for Heroes

I didn't manage to watch much of the BBC documentaries connected with armistice and remembrance. It did strike me, however, that the air time given to the subject was much greater than before; I can't remember much more than the Festival of Remembrance and perhaps one or two documentaries in years gone by making it onto the screen.

It makes me wonder if we as a society or generation feel bereft of heroes and have gone looking for them in our history. Perhaps we are bored by celebrities and the culture we have helped them spawn. Perhaps we have at last realised how shallow contemporary culture really is.

Whatever our thoughts about war, there is no doubt that many men - often young men - and their families suffered a great deal. And we have been the benficiaries.

It might well be that in our hearts we really do value sacrifice more than indulgence.

You might still be able to view some of the productions at BBC iPlayer


Graeme said...

This is an awesome post(piccie really adds something)
I think they are focusing on it because its been 90 years since the end of the first world war, and they tend to emphasize big anniversaries a bit more, as to the bored of celebrities YES I sure am.
God bless you James, and all who read this blog.

James said...

Yeah Graeme - I'm sure the 90 years had something to do with it. I actually found what I saw very moving - encounters with some real heroes. As you say, a refreshing change from the usual diet of celebrities we are fed.

Thanks for the comments. Much appreciated. James

Jon said...

Hi James,

Just catching up on your last week of posts, thanks for everything.

Seeing pictures of and reading accounts of the First World War really moves me because I realise that, but for the grace of God, there go healthy young men like your good self and I. What a blessing it is to be born a century too late for such horror.

It's imperative that we (by which I mean mankind, not just you and me!) don't let the 21st century mirror the 20th century, and yet in so many ways (and perhaps inevitably) we seem complacent enough to allow things to slip. Right wing marches in Germany; "ethnic cleansing" (racist rape and murder); and plenty of pointless fighting and dying; all masquerading as justified moral struggles, all over the world.... the 20th Century? No- 2008! Gentle reminders that maybe we don't learn from history!

Anyway, that's enough ranting. I'm enjoying your personal updates on your blog and hearing what's going on in Elim Church Crawley. Keep up the great work!

God bless you, Beryl, Jonathan, Alice and Niall,

Kind regards,

Jon and Elly

James said...

Good to hear from you Jon.

Your sentiments are so spot on. I hadn't thought of the 20th / 21st century parallel before.

I don't think the world in 1908 envisaged the carnage that was ahead. Hard to believe that all the optimism and apparent progress was shattered by something as brutal as the Great War.

I've heard it said that at the time Britain and Germany were the top nations for sending out missionaries. I'm sure Satan was quite pleased to get them hacking each other to death.

Hopefully we have learned some lessons from history and we won't have to learn them again. I don't think you and I were made for the trenches Jon!

Hope you and Elly are well.

God bless you both.