We see the iconic poppy everywhere … of course – it’s November and we all turn our minds and hearts to another time. I think many of us still go way back… WW1, WW2… some thoughts go to Korea and Vietnam. But all of us now have much more recent war experience. Many of us know people who served, were injured, or died in the deserts of the middle east. Thinking about war veterans is no longer all about elderly people, and counting how many “are left.” Now we have vets who are in their 20’s and 30’s. Some continue in military service. Some have found new lives out of the military. And some are trying to survive on this side of service.
What is all this remembering good for? We speak of honouring those who gave. We speak of the importance of knowing history so as not to repeat it. Yet we do repeat it. Really, if we are all honest about it, the remembering really doesn’t serve a purpose - unless it changes us. We need to “take up the fight” for peace; for these veterans that aren’t being respected and cared for by our federal government; for our young people who need support to grow into adults who will embrace diversity and won’t be threatened by the differences they encounter in the people they meet.
Peoples around the world remember their war dead, maybe on different dates and in different ways, but we all have hearts heavy with grief for the loss of those we love. November 11th is a day to remember and a day to realize how connected we all with all in the world who are forever marked by grief. May our remembering change us again this year.