I was on (another) adventure last Friday, taking the bus to Central, when I passed by Statue Square. (I got off at the stop there.) There stood a column with the area around it cordoned off, but thankfully, I have well enough eyesight that let me read the imprinted words even from a distance.
The erect monument read: THE GLORIOUS DEAD. Following that, it indicated the years of the two world wars.
And I thought: ‘The dead are glorified too much.’ (1) and ‘This statue is kind of pointless.’ (2) Personally, I believe that nothing happens after death. We simply cease to exist. This kind of thinking might be the easy way out of the whole philosophical debate over death and what happens after it, but that’s a story for another day.
So anyway, in popular culture, people say the dead have moved on to a better place. And I agree. They’re saved from a world with famine and poverty and natural disasters that keep wiping people out. Why do people keep thinking of the dead and honouring them if we’re meant to move from the past? And what is the point of doing so if they’re already dead, and have no way of recognising the things you’re doing for them?
Again, this is just because I believe we cease to exist after death, but if you do believe that they’re watching over you after death, I understand why you’d try to speak nice of them, and do all those nice things for their soul or spirit or something.
Onto the second point.
The dead are dead. They definitely don’t have it worse than the living. If anything, I think the statue should have been honouring those who fought in and survived the war. Honour those who came back. They’re the ones who are scarred, and deserve recognition. The dead do not have to see the end of the war and live in the destruction that follows. They aren’t the ones coming back with broken limbs and broken hearts and broken minds. They’re carefree and worry-less, because they’re dead.
Meanwhile, those who do come back alive are, at best, only physically injured, or have not even fought at all. At worst, they could come back alive, but dead on the inside. They have to live with the pain of losing a comrade, a friend, family killed in the war. They have to cope with haunting flashbacks of the war. They have to live with PTSD. I think you know where I’m going with this.
I don’t really know what to say, or how to end it. I was never good with opinions and stuff, especially those where you need evidence to back yourself up. There’s not much of a point to this, but I just wanted to put this out there. Yeah. (No disrespect to anyone, dead or alive. Personally I’m sorry war actually exists.)