“I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah”
From Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
These words for some reason some up my own personal thoughts on Remembrance Day. The flags that fly, the fuss that is made never seem a celebration to me. Celebrations of battle victories should never be used as an opportunity to wave flags in the faces of the vanquish. It is not a time to gloat but a time to poignantly remember those who died, usually young, because humanity stooped to such depths of inhumanity to one another. It is a time to remember so that we might learn to never do again.
Cohen’s Hallelujah creates this emotion and belief beautifully. This is Cohen’s downbeat reputation with a glimpse of light always lurking. This is praise in the midst of brokenness. This is meekness and mourning on a day when we could show the worst of human traits. We have performed this song in Fitzroy on Remembrance Services and I quote it an awful lot!