Why Remembering World War II is Vital to the Future of Humanity
Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and doomed are we all. In the past few years, the political climate of the world has been heating up with international tensions heightening due to several factors, one being the refugee crisis brought on by the rise of extremism and the emergence of ISIS in the Middle East. There’s North Korea threatening nuclear attacks, and Russia is trying to undermine American democracy. Not only that, there are rights, immigration, and discrimination issues happening all around the world, including Neo-Nazis, the Westborough Baptist Church, as well as many hate groups attacking regular people trying to live their lives. The United States deployed the GBU-43/B MOAB on Afghanistan, the deadly nerve gas sarin was dropped on civilians in Syria, and there are more shooting incidents in the United States than there are days of the year. These events are truly something to be worried about.
This is why we have to remember World War II and all the painfully harsh realities that happen to society when countries go to war. No, it’s not the same as the movies, where the good guys kill the bad guys and, once they’re dead, world peace can be achieved. World War II broke out a mere two decades after the devastation during World War I. There were no good guys or bad guys; despite separating the Axis powers and the Allied powers, in the end, no hands were left unclean. Atrocities were committed on both sides, and there was very little dignity given to the people of the losing side, which haunts them until this day. Many living today are unaware of the weight of history and how the incidents of today are but a reenactment of the past that led to a global war.
World War II was beset with widespread death, like the Holocaust, which shocked the world, and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, totaling to a casualty count that has so far been the highest in human history. But the sheer number of these deaths would not be able to compare to the deaths that could be wrought using modern weaponry, yet there is still the prevailing threat that there are certain leaders who would not blink in using these weapons of mass destruction against another. When Germany invaded Poland, it started a chain reaction that led France and the United Kingdom to declare war on Nazi Germany, but today we see Russia is invading Ukraine and the United States being involved in so many conflicts around the world. There are differences between then and today. Today, the economic struggle triggers so many internal conflicts, like the socioeconomic crisis in Venezuela and the aftermath and the struggle of rebuilding after the Arab Spring, but unlike World War II, the threat is now clearly global, encompassing countries in South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East—places that were not direct players but have now taken a stance.
The world has become smaller, yet humans have barely changed. One thing we all have to do to prevent another catastrophic global conflict is to study the past and hopefully not repeat past events. Never forget!
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