Tomorrow in the Netherlands, it will be Remembrance Day, and the day after it will be Liberation Day. It’s days like these that give me mixed feelings. Is it a good thing to remember those who gave us our freedom and then celebrate this freedom? Well, maybe. In this way we can experience gratitude and be aware of the importance of freedom. On the other hand, it makes us focus on suffering.
Gallipoli – The Final Wave
Returned home to his family six years later
For me, it feels as if we’re stuck in ‘our’ suffering. Together we jump into the proverbial pit of despair and bask in misery. Subsequently, we are grateful that others help us out of the pit. Where does this point of view come from? In the summer of 1987, just before I went into military service, I spent a couple of weeks with my grandad on the island of Guernsey. My grandad told me about his experiences in World War II. In 1940, when the war broke out in the Netherlands, he was in England selling flower bulbs. Returning to his wife and children in occupied Holland was out of the question. Therefore he enlisted with the British Army and was sent to Australia. Fortunately, he didn’t see combat, however, he didn’t return home to his family until six years later. He suffered greatly because of this.
His story certainly left its mark on me and affected how I underwent my own military service. In the first few months I was fanatical, but before long, my enthusiasm changed into antipathy. More and more, I became conscious of what we were being trained to do, and deep inside, I knew that it just wasn’t right sacrificing ourselves so a small group of powermongers can profit.
Living in fear
This knowledge became deeply ingrained when I heard the stories about my other grandad. He had fought in the Battle for the Grebbeberg in the Netherlands. When it became imminent that the artillery battery with which he was serving, was about to be run down by the enemy, the commanding officer of my grandad’s unit gave the order to retreat. This officer stayed behind to make the retreat possible and paid for this with his life. My grandad spent the rest of his short life living in fear. One of my uncles once told me that my grandad always had a suitcase lying packed under the bed, ‘just in case’. He too was traumatized and suffered gravely.
Ennio Morricone – Chi Mai
Remembrance day is cruel
So, both of my grandads suffered and their families suffered also. So, everyone in the Netherlands suffered and, so, everyone in the world suffered. Not only from wars, also from other events that affect us deeply. Over and over again, and each year on Remembrance Day, we remember this. It’s utterly pointless, in my view, cruel even, that we open up the wounds time and time again. We needn’t suffer. Nelson Mandela showed us that. He didn’t dwell in his suffering, and became a stronger person because of it. He reminds me of Jesus’s suffering on the cross. We are led to believe that we have all been liberated from our suffering through his suffering. I believe differently.
I believe Jesus and his wife Maria Magdalena wanted to make clear to us, that on Earth, we have everything to our disposal for us to manifest ourselves fully. Through unconditional love – and in the first case for ourselves – we may and can enjoy life and everything life has to offer. Of course, we may receive help from others, and yet, we are independent. We are powerful on our own. And the more we live from the heart, the more we will feel our own power, our own powers of creation, and the fruits they bear. We needn’t suffer at all and we needn’t be liberated. For, we are capable of liberating ourselves, in order to live in happiness, love, abundance and freedom.
Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard – Gladiator Theme – Now We Are Free
‘Shadows’ by Chelsea Turner on Freeimages.com
‘Sedona At Sunset’ by Zularime on Freeimages.com
‘Heart-shaped Hands’ by Johan van den Berg on Freeimages.com
‘Magnolia Blossoms’ by Michael en Christa Richert on Freeimages.com
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