I wanted to pay my respects for those who have fought in wars – past and present.
I have been fortunate enough to live in a time and country of peace. I don’t have to face what millions of others have. I haven’t been personally touched by war or genocide or terror. I have family members that have been alive for World War II and it’s not something my relatives really talk about, so I know it wasn’t a great time in their lives. Again, my imagination is the only there to fill in the pieces.
I sincerely hope that I personally do not ever have to see the “atrocities of war” (I’m putting this in quotes because those who haven’t seen it first hand cannot fully grasp its meaning) first hand in my life time. Unfortunately, this is looking like it may become a reality for me with the tensions between America and North Korea heating up. I also hope that those who are suffering from warfare and genocide by their governments and/or militia groups comes to an end soon. No one should live in fear for their lives.
Most of all, I wish that this entire planet can see peace and doesn’t have to know fear.
So, why do we need to remember?
Any life that has been shed, whether an innocent bystander, a fallen soldier – the willing and unwilling, or even the people perpetuating violence upon others should not be forgotten. Human life is precious and we can learn so much from the lives that everyone has lived. Each death is a commitment to remembering this. These deaths represent the unfairness of killing those who are innocent, for those standing up for what they believe in – whether you believe in it or not, and to never forget the horrible things that a select few have done to countless others, so we know not to make the same mistake again.
I know here in Canada, we wear red poppies over our hearts throughout November to show our support for our veterans still among us and to honor those who died for us. Other countries also wear poppies, but some have different colors that mean different things for them and what their country went through.
The poppy was a common sight for those on the Western front in World War I and has become the symbol of Armistice Day (11 November) – the end of World War I. The poppy has been immortalized in the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve always hated wearing my poppy because it never would stay on properly. Over the years, I have seriously wondered why they didn’t make them more durable. I think I finally may have an answer for that. I believe it is there to represent how fleeting and arbitrary life can be. You can lose the poppy as easily as someone can lose their life upon the battle field. Knowing that you’ve lost your poppy, is annoying yes, but it forces you to remember that it was there and it was important.
So the next time, you lose your poppy or consider not paying your dollar to grab one – reconsider it and don’t forget the people that fought on your behalf – before you came into existence or those who are fighting for you now.
Remembering those who have fought and have fallen is literally the least we can do.
Until next week.