(Note: This post was originally intended to be published on September 1, the day of commemoration for the outbreak of the Second World War.)
Most of us weren't born yet when it happened. It is said to be one of the most 'destructive war of all time' that it had been able to surpass all the previous wars in terms of cost, people killed, nations involved and the havoc it did. Mankind had witnessed the most 'inhumane acts' committed by heartless and merciless people. It was a war borne out of man's lust for power and selfish aims to rule the world. It is the most tragic and horrible chapter of human history.
It was the Second World War (World War II).
Last September 1, a few countries in Europe 'commemorated' the 70th year anniversary of the outbreak of World War II that began with the invasion of Poland by then Nazi Germany. I would like to emphasize that: 'a few countries..'
From out of the more than 100 nations that had been involved in the most deadliest war, only a few had remembered.
It seems that everyone else had simply chosen to forget a war that had almost annihilated the entire human race.
Maybe, we cannot blame some people to simply put the war as part of history books and erase it from collective memory because of the tremendous sorrow, pain, grief and sufferings the have experienced. Kumbaga sa pag-ibig, para naman maka-move on ang lahat.
Yet, there is a danger when everyone else chose not to even remember it. Because the next generation would have little knowledge about that war and would not be able to learn some lessons from it. Thus, there is a big possibility that it could occur again.
Even now, we are quite seeing some danger signs that could possibly lead to escalation of violence and would most likely lead to another war that almost all nations would be involved.
What would be the reasons for the possible escalation of another war? The same reason that have caused World War 2: greed.
Take the case of the Philippines.
Our capital (Manila) is said to be the 2nd most destroyed city in the world after the war. It is also said that almost a third of our population had been either killed in action or had been victims of the war. Others who had survived had barely crossed the line to insanity. Our women had been raped and this barbaric act had been forever etched in their minds. We had also seen how Imperial Japan then used the most excessive and brutal torture methods. We had seen how each Filipino had suffered so much that they've got no other choice but to either fight or die.
And yet, we do not even remember much of it. It had been downgraded to a mere chapter on our history books - just like other important historical events that made us truly Filipino. It had become a mere campaign for more compensation for the service our veterans had rendered during the war. It had almost been removed in the Filipino's collective memory.
And because of that, we are seeing a resemblance of the previous war we had been - this time in its much worse form.
Filipinos fighting against each other. Filipinos silencing those who disagree with them.; some would experience the same torture that Imperial Japan did. Filipinos who still see that only an all-out war can put an end to our insurgency and terrorism problems. Fellow Filipinos who sees dissenters as traitors of the 'state' and destabilizers out there to disrupt the prevailing oppressive social order.
The aggressors had long been gone. But what made it worse is that our fellow Filipinos had replaced them. In fact, as soon as war ended, the previous governments of Roxas, Quirino and Magsaysay worked for the annihilation of the Huks simply because they fought against the feudal lords and fought for their right to have their own land to till.
From then on, the government who supposedly should be protecting the true interests of its people had become the oppressor. The entity who used its 'legitimate use of force' to silence the people's genuine concerns. The traitors who are out there to sell out our country and its people in exchange for dollars to fill in their pockets.
But why? They had simply forgotten to learn their lessons from the past.
And I won't be surprised if in the near future, no matter how peace-loving Filipinos are, we would be divided by civil strife because of their frustration and hopelessness that they are seeing in our current plight.
But then again, no one wins in a war. Not even the victor who had been able to wipe out its 'enemy.' Even the oppressed who suddenly took up the arms to fight the oppressor. We would always end up in a vicious cycle of violence and hatred that would make it happen all over again.
So what do we need to do?
Learn our lessons from history.