366 days of gratitude

Two German visitors told us they were the first in four generations of their families who had not fought in a war.

Their fathers had fought in World War II, their grandfathers in World War I, and their great-grandfather had fought in a war before him.

I think that was in the 1860s because my farmer’s great-grandfather and his brother left Germany then to escape conscription into the Prussian army.

New Zealand and New Zealanders aren’t untouched by the various conflicts around the world but musing on our visitors’ comments made me very grateful to be living here and now in a time and place of peace.

 

3 Responses to 366 days of gratitude

  1. Andrei says:

    That statement is true for my family as well.

    Alas the next great conflict is on its way, the signs are unmistakable

    Most people don’t want to know – is this willful denial?

    Do you know about the missiles being put into Poland and Romania?

    Do you know about the warships in the Black Sea
    (violating th Black Sea treaty) and the Baltic?

    Do you know about the troop buildup in the Baltic republics?

    This post was written on the anniversary of the beginning of Barbarossa – an interesting co-incidence

  2. Andrei says:

    President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,

    I wanted to meet with you as the parliament’s sixth convocation comes to the end of its mandate and thank you for your work over these years. I want to thank you and say a few words about the results of your work. Of course, I want to take a look forward too at the tasks the next parliament will have before it.

    But first of all, let me turn to the tragic date we are marking today. Seventy-five years ago, Nazi Germany treacherously invaded the Soviet Union and the Great Patriotic War began. By this time, as we know, the Nazis has already enslaved many European countries.

    The Soviet people took the brunt of the Nazis’ force, but they met the enemy with tremendous unity and resistance, and withstood the onslaught, fighting literally to the death to protect their homeland. They drove the enemy right back to its lair, inflicted a crushing defeat on the invaders and achieved the Great Victory.

    Today, we bow our heads before this heroic generation. Our fathers and grandfathers gave their lives to save Russia and all of humanity from the fascist scourge. We will always remember their sacrifice and courage. We treasure the bright memory of all who gave their lives in that war, and all our veterans who are no longer with us now. I propose that we honour their memory with a minute of silence.

    (Minute of silence)

    It was the Nazis who unleashed this war. Their ideology of hatred, blind faith in their own exceptional nature and infallibility, and desire for world domination led to the twentieth century’s greatest tragedy.

    We know the biggest lesson of that war: it could have been prevented. It could have been stopped if efforts had been made to firmly rein in the Nazis and their accomplices’ wild ambitions in time. But this did not happen. Our country, the Soviet Union, made direct proposals for joint action and collective defence, but these proposals were simply left hanging.

    The leaders of a number of Western countries chose instead to pursue a policy of containing the Soviet Union and sought to keep it in a situation of international isolation. But it was Nazism that was the real and terrible global threat. Politicians underestimated its danger, overlooked the threat and did not want to admit that enlightened Europe could give birth to a criminal regime that was growing ever stronger.

    The international community let its vigilance down and lacked the will and unity to prevent this war and save the lives of millions and millions of people. What other lesson do we need today to throw aside tattered old ideological differences and geopolitical games and unite our forces to fight international terrorism?

    This common threat is spreading its danger before our very eyes. We must create a modern collective security system beyond blocs and with all countries on an equal footing. Russia is open to discussions on this most important issue and has repeatedly stated its readiness for dialogue.

    For now though, as was the case on the eve of World War II, we see no positive response. On the contrary, NATO is stepping up its aggressive rhetoric and aggressive actions close to our borders. In this situation, we have no choice but to devote particular attention to the tasks we must address in order to increase our country’s defence capability.

    I would like to thank the State Duma deputies for their deep and substantive understanding of Russia’s state interests and for knowing how to defend these interests decisively. Of course, I also want to thank you for your consolidated legislative support for the proposals on strengthening our country’s security.

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