Friday, November 11, 2011

My Thoughts on Remembrance Day...

Today is Remembrance Day. For a week or so, nearly everyone in the city has been wearing a red poppy pinned to their clothes in honour of this day. On the 11th hour of the eleventh minute, participants will take a moment of silence to honour fallen soldiers.

I've been talking about Remembrance Day and the poppies with quite a few people in the past weeks, and most of what I hear is really respectful and in favour of this day.  Of course, a few people I've spoken with have said they feel disgust and shame toward Remembrance Day because they feel it glorifies war. I'm not a big fan of war myself so I can understand this perspective, and as always, I respect everyone's right to their own interpretation and opinion of the world around them. 

Here's what I think of Remembrance Day:

As a parent, I think of Remembrance Day as a day to remember a group of people who have had their lives cut short.

It's not about loving war, or blood lust, or whether wars are just or unjust.  It's about a man or woman, son or daughter, husband or wife, grandparent, cousin, friend, lover, sister, brother, who lost their life.

Whether you think they gave their life for an important reason or if you think it was entirely in vain, at the heart of Remembrance Day is the fact that every soldier was, at one point, a precious child.

The pride and joy of a family.

A person who spent time in the body of an anxious and excited pregnant mother, a person whose family gathered in celebration when they were born, a child who took first steps as their parents watched with a smile on their face, a child who looked at simple things in wonder and a child with dreams.

A child whose parents held their breathe at the sight of their child tripping over a rock or scraping their knee, and breathed a sigh of relief upon realizing their child was ok.

A child whose parents worried about the safety and future of that child 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from the second they knew they would become parents.

A child who grew up, joined the military for whatever reason, and lost their life too soon.

On this day we remember people who were precious to many and who never returned home.  Whether you "believe" in war or not, the loss of any person is a tragic and sad thing, and we take the time today to remember this.






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