“Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

This quote is one that I remember from my history lessons at school. Now I have loved history ever since I was about nine years old, so I excelled in my history lessons. I think my teachers would agree with that. They would probably also say that I would have done better if I had been more confident and willing to put myself forward. I may know the answers, but they didn’t know that I knew the answers! An issue that unfortunately did follow me to University, but I like to think I’m improving.

Anyway, this is not about my school days. This is about today’s youth. Unfortunately someone in the local area has defaced a War Memorial. I can only guess why – boredom, a dare, they thought it was funny, they didn’t realise, or maybe they just don’t care. The worse thing about this for me, is that it’s not that uncommon any more. They are reports every year of people urinating on War Memorials, breaking them down, tagging them. And every year, people are in uproar about it.

Clearly though, our outcries over this are not making a difference. Which begs the question, what more can be done? It worries me when you speak to young teenagers and they don’t know World War One from World War Two. They don’t know who Hitler was or Churchill (a personal favourite). To me those figures are people that everyone knows, or at least knows the name of them.

If it was up to me, I would sit these young teenagers down and not let them leave until they had memorised all these facts. Until they know the causes of World War One and Two. Until they could tell me the difference between the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance. I wouldn’t let them leave until they finally understand the sacrifices people made so that we could live in a world with democracy.

I feel sorry for the teenagers that do know because they are now going to be tarnished with the same brush. I’ve been there. Not too long ago, people all assumed that my friends and I were like other teenagers our age.  And can you blame them? A small selection of people are making it harder for everyone.

This leads to my final point. How are these youths going to be found and punished? Personally I think schools and colleges should get involved in helping with this. As should parents. It must be difficult to think that you child could be responsible, but a responsible parents would want their child to be honest and admit what they have done.

This may come across as a rant and I don’t mean it to, but it upsets me to think that they are people in this area that could do this. You read about it in other places, but you never expect it on your own doorstep. I had relatives fight in both World Wars and I am eternally grateful for them fighting so essentially, we could have our freedom. Other people should be grateful too.


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