They shall grow not old ... as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.
Lest we forget.
Yesterday I posted Last Post to the Malaysian Last Post where I expressed my regrets over the religio-politicisation of Warriors' Day being held at the National Monument, as it had been done over almost the last half century.
But most of all I lambasted one ex serviceman for talking cock about the bugle-call of the Last Post and what it means to servicemen. That bloke would just sprout nonsense in order for him to jump on the religious bandwagon.
As I mentioned, Remembrance Day (Warriors’ Day) is about remembering (not forgetting) the deeds of our national heroes.
We remember their sacrifices and honour their invaluable service in defending our country. And we teach and remind our young citizens to be mindful that where they are today has been in large part due to the sacrifices of our heroes.
It’s regrettable that of all people, the Defence Minister became the person to politicise this important day by portraying the ceremony at the National Monument as idol worshipping and thus haram (forbidden) to Muslims. If he has to do or say something in this regard, he should be the very one to defend the servicemen’s right to continue the ceremony as they had been doing for the last half a century.
If we want to be Wahhabis, fine, then shouldn’t we get rid of the statue of Hang Tuah in the National Museum? Shouldn’t we also remove all the portraits and photos of our national leaders from the school classrooms and public offices?
C’mon, let’s be consistent, and bloody stop playing politics.
Today I read in The Malaysian Insider the news that Ex-soldiers ask for new monument in Putrajaya - it reported (extracts):
Former Malaysian soldiers want a new monument in Putrajaya to commemorate Warrior’s Day even if the celebrations are moved to the administrative capital due to objections from Islamic scholars.
The 130,000-strong Ex-Servicemen Association of Malaysia (PBTM) said a new monument is necessary as a respect to the soldiers even if it isn’t a replica of the iconic bronze monument of human statues in Lake Garden here.
Datuk Muhammad Abd Ghani also said the current July 31 celebrations is only symbolic and a mark of respect, denying claims it was unIslamic as stated by Islamic authorities who claim it should not be held at the site of statues or sculptures of human figures.
“It is an old military ceremony. We are not worshipping the monument as mentioned but it is just symbolic. What is important is our intention to give respect,” he told The Malaysian Insider last night.
I rest my case. And the Defence Minister should hang his head in shame.
Each has won a glorious grave - not that sepulchre of earth wherein they lie, but the living tomb of everlasting remembrance wherein their glory is enshrined. For the whole earth is the sepulchre of heroes. Monuments may rise and tablets be set up to them in their own land, but on far-off shores there is an abiding memorial that no pen or chisel has traced; it is graven not on stone or brass, but on the living hearts of humanity.
Take these men for your example. Like them, remember that prosperity can be only for the free, that freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it - Pericles c. 495 – 429 BC