Leader, November 15, 2019

Glenbarr War Memorial.

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Philosopher George Santayana once said: ‘Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’

Remembrance is one of the main topics in this week’s Courier.

We increasingly rely on our youngsters to keep the memory of the First and Second World Wars alive as those who experienced them first-hand – and second-hand – fade away.

Renowned First World War poet Wilfred Owen, who was himself killed in action in 1918, wrote of ‘the old lie’ – ‘Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’, which translates from Latin as ‘It is sweet and proper to die for one’s country’.

Remembrance should not be about glorifying war, but remembering the horrific atrocities which are committed in its name so that in future they may be avoided.

The four young people who took part in the service at Glenbarr War Memorial are direct descendants of men from the area who fell in battle. One, sea cadet James Reid, has the very same name as his ancestor, Lance Corporal James Reid, 7th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Even after 100 years, the tragedy of those great wars is still felt so strongly in small communities.