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Hoping for a better world

Deadly disaster: Egyptian soldiers collect the personal belongings of crash victims on Monday at the site where a passenger plane bound for St Petersburg came down in Hassana, in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The United States and Britain have suggested that a bomb was planted on the plane by terrorists. The real war today is against terrorism, our columnist writes, and there is no limit to how far these groups will go (Photograph by Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations via AP/File)

As we prepare to take a moment to pay tribute to those men and women who made the supreme sacrifice in the two major world wars, to protect freedoms that today so many take for granted, it is equally important to contemplate the state of our world, as the battle continues to seek a peace where true freedom for all human beings will be more than a distant dream.

Despite being a small island in the Atlantic, Bermuda was still able to participate in global history along with major nations to crush evil forces that could have altered the balance of the civilised world, and the values held by those who respect the right to exist without being condemned for ethnic or religious beliefs.

It would be a fitting tribute to those who fought in both the European and Pacific battlefields if the world had truly learnt from the horrors of war, and from the suffering as families on both sides were torn apart in a manner that would take many years to heal.

Time has a way of healing some of the emotional wounds war can leave, but what really matters is whether lessons can be learnt that would enable mankind to share the wonders of this planet, without excessive greed and a thirst to dominate at any cost.

Today, waves timelessly wash up on the beaches of Normandy, which once was the scene of one of the bloodiest military encounters in history, and one wonders whether mankind will ever climb away from hatred and contempt for others based on differences, be it race, religion or ethnicity. The world has many beautiful places and beautiful people, but after two world wars, there are still too many guns firing, with deadly bombs exploding, claiming thousands of lives in trouble spots in various regions across the globe.

It is deeply disturbing that the world remains a dangerous place, with the awful face of terrorism creating security problems on a global scale, since with terrorism, there are no front lines.

With modern communication technology, such groups constantly seek ways to enlist support from the vulnerable, and often have new recruits launch attacks against their enemy in any country, sometimes with deadly results.

The Islamic State group, known as ISIS, is of such concern for world safety that some presidential candidates in the United States, vying for the highest office in the land, have openly declared that, once elected, they would put American troops on the ground in the Middle East to halt what they feel is one of the most deadly terrorist groups on Earth.

Even without conclusive evidence of terrorism in last weekend’s crash of a Russian airliner in Egypt, with the loss of more than 200 people, the United States and Britain have stated that early indications raise the bar quite high in leaning towards the possibility of a bomb having been planted on the aircraft.

However, even as investigations into the disaster continue to determine exactly what happened, there is growing concern throughout the world that the real war today is against terrorism, and no area is out of bounds when it comes to how far such groups will go to harm those not on board with their brand of ideology.

This is perhaps why it is important to remember the brave fallen, especially the Bermudians who left our beautiful shores to join other forces thousands of miles away to be a part of the effort to protect values that good people, regardless of race or religious beliefs, strive for in hopes of having a better world for all.

No society will be perfect, but as long as there are people willing to stand up for freedom and dignity for all, it will be right to pause and reflect on such bravery.

When good people stand shoulder to shoulder to defend those principles, the door will slowly close on terrorism. It will not happen overnight, but one day all those who made the supreme sacrifice in the two wars, will not have done so in vain.

Let us never forget their sacrifice which helped to make this world a better place.