Veterans: thank you.
This morning I had the honour of participating in my university’s Remembrance Day ceremony — my choir sang an arrangement of In Flanders Fields and also led the congregation in a few hymns and the national anthems. I’ve participated this way as long as I’ve been in the choir. We get a good sized crowd out every year, standing quietly in the cold, but every year there are fewer and fewer veterans.
Canada has one remaining World War One veteran. He is a hundred and eight years old.
Sometimes people get uptight about Remembrance Day, usually in my experience those who are particularly anti-war.
“Those soldiers died for a lie — those soldiers should never have been fighting — dying for a country, that means less than nothing.”
And if this is so, then what? Was their sacrifice any less worthy? Did they suffer less? Did they die easier? My friends, this is not so.
Regardless of your ideas about wars, or just wars, or unjust wars, this is an important day. We must recognize the sacrifices of both those who gave their lives for the country and those who survived — who, in some ways, have given us even more.
Wear your poppy. Thank a veteran. Read some good books:
- The Wars, by Timothy Findley (WWI)
- All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque (WWI)
- A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway (WWI)
- The Guests of War Trilogy, by Kit Pearson (WWII)
- The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak (WWII)
- The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank (WWII)
- Catch-22, by Joseph Heller (WWII)
- The Bridge over the River Kwai, by Pierre Boulle (WWII)
7 thoughts on “Lest We Forget”
I have so many veterans in my family…and my little brother is active duty right now. thanks for posting this. 🙂 You are very right.
You're welcome, b. I don't have any vets in my family, and so I think that the importance of honouring those who have served mostly came across during my early school years. I can remember talking about Remembrance Day as a class in grade one — our teacher explained why we wore poppies, and gave one to everyone, along with a little envelope to fill with change to donate.
Christine, your granddaddy was in the coast guard during the war, and three of your great-uncles were in the army.
Really? Well, then, I retract my previous statement.But it was an honest mistake. Who knew the Coast Guard counted? And I don't know my great uncles…
didja see the engineers' impromptu war memorial on front campus? Sometimes they do good pranks.
No, I missed it. I don't see front campus more than once every couple of weeks.
What a wonderful post. 🙂
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