Legend has it that this cannon is faced across the Melbourne bay at competing suburbs with a history of battlegrounds on the sporting field and other areas of social life. Regardless of the truth of this story the cannon stands as a stark reminder of the battlegrounds that can exist been people. People in different suburbs, people from different countries, people within the same community, even people in the same family for that matter.
As Australia increases its terror threat levels, the cannon suddenly takes on some new, more serious meanings. Not that cannons like this are the weapons of terror these days. there's a lot more sophistication these days in warfare. Just the same, they were part of warfare that killed many, physically and mentally tortured those that were able to survive and took away the innocence and sense of safety for everyone else.
Wars can bring out the very worst in people. Potentially they can also bring out the very best when stories of comradeship and selflessness are shared. These stories often become part of the tapestry of history, forming one aspect of our national identity.
War heroes are acknowledged and placed on pedestals. They themselves, while taking pride in what they have achieved and grateful for the recognition, often humbly just ask that we learn from the lessons of previous wars. That we as nations never repeat the mistakes of the past. That war has no real winners, but many losers. One wonders what they might be thinking at the moment.
Ideas of people living in peace and harmony can easily get lost when warfare becomes a focus.Respecting each other, tolerating and growing from our differences and working together towards whatever common goals we can find is difficult when conflicts are resolved through aggression. Moving the battlegrounds to fighting poverty and social injustices would be much better ways for us all to spend our time and efforts.