On this day at the eleventh hour one hundred years ago, the guns fell silent. It was time to count the dead and start returning people to what was once their home. The war was over but there were lessons to be learned. Many of the decisions made to ensure such misery was not repeated, created the very foundations of discontent that led to conflict at an even greater level.
It does not matter if you are a conscientious objector or a decorated veteran, today is not a holiday. It is a day of somber reflection. Its the day set aside to remember what happens when people no longer see value in human rights and civility.
The ugliness of war does not lie in the fact, that horrors are committed and people die on the battlefield. The ugliness of war lies in the fact that human beings still can’t deal with conflicting issues before they reach the state of war. It is said oh we can’t do much when a tyrant takes control.
Well that is not altogether true.
Prior to WWII the west including Canada sold products and scrap metal to nations that would prove to be our enemies. Open a history book anyone could see there were nations building for war and we did nothing until it was time to ask our youth to die. The trouble is we couldn’t stop them from taking power but we could have done more in other areas. And today we continue to sell arms to tyrants and those would be nations that do not share our values. Nations that are dangerous to the cause of peace and democracy.
By the same token some say we should not have gone to war period.
Today we seem to be applauding the people who would make a mockery out of what our nation stood for. Our young men and women stood in harms way to defend the principles our nation has always stood for. They didn’t go overseas to fight for some principles, or to pick and choose one right over another. Canada did not send troops to two world wars and a dozen or more conflicts since so we at home can accept their gift of sacrifice in order to have an extra days shopping at the mall.
When it comes to standing in the cold today and remembering it should not be regarded as an obligation, it should be regarded as a privilege, our way to say thank you.
Some time ago I had one of my privileged generation say. Oh the war, that was so long ago, why don’t we just let it go? Well my friends in large part, we have.
The sad fact is the tyrants are are already plotting in Brazil, Europe, the Philipinnes and some say south of our own boarder. When we forget, the tyrants do not. John F Kennedy once said when tyrants and hostile actions go unchecked and unchallenged it ultimately leads to war.
A more immediate way to look at this is to remember who the people were that served. They were in many cases the foundation of the family you have today. Would you be so rude to your grand father or grand mother? Today is the most important day to be civil and respectful to those who were a whole lot braver than you and I will ever have to be.
Lest We Forget