Remembrance Day. A day we set aside to remember those who have died so we don’t have to. A day to remember those who gave up their hopes and dreams for us. They never knew us and we never knew them. So can we really remember?
The short answer is no. You cannot recall a memory if it’s not there to be recalled and none of us was there in France for those fateful years. But what we can do is honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We can faithfully pass on the heritage of their sacrifices to our children and teach them that war is not only horrific but it is a thief. It steals the future.
WW I stole a generation of young men. English, Canadian, French, German; war is no respecter of nationality. But it wasn’t just their lives it stole, although that would be tragedy enough, it was their futures. Their talents, desires dreams. Their future contribution to society. And those who did not die had their lives shattered and their talents, desires and dreams altered and scarred.
Their absence left a hole that has followed us through time. We cannot see it but it’s there. All the lives that would never exist because of that war. How many future genius’ were never born because of that war? Did a cure for cancer die in that war? Did a leader who could have prevented a future conflict die in that war? How many poets, inventors, business leaders, scientists, teachers, doctors, lawyers, Presidents, Prime Ministers, mother and fathers died in that war? We will never know but we experience the consequences of it every day.
We live in peace and comfort and most people reading this will never have experienced the horror of war and while we cannot truly remember their sacrifice we can truly honour their sacrifice by gratefully remembering all that they gave up so we could be free and enjoy the life that they would never know and pledging ourselves to rid our world of the scourge of war for the sake of our children.
Lest we forget (to honour them)