Thursday, November 11, 2004

Remembrance Day

Last year I posted two poems which everyone should go and (re)read. They are In Flanders Field and In Fields of Flanders.


My grandfather was born at the end of 1899 and was in both World Wars. Other friends and relatives have served in those wars and every one since. [*Edit: At least the wars which directly involved Canada and/or the United States. *] Some of them were not necessarily on the side you might expect. As an example, I knew at least one person who was served in the German Army around the time of World War II. I don't know if he served or fought during that war, only that at one time around then he was in the German army serving his mandatory service. Since he only served the mandatory tour of duty for the country where he was born and didn't talk about it, I don't know any more than that. I had known him as a friend's grandfather, who happened to live in our neighbourhood, for a long time before I ever learned that he was German or what that could have meant.

All of this helps me remember that ALL of the soldiers are people. Even if we think that the one side or the other is "evil" that might only apply to the leaders (if it applies to anyone), the individual soldiers might not agree with the leaders, but are sometimes forced to serve anyway.

What does that have to do with anything going on today?

Nothing. And everything.

Today is a day set aside for remembering all those who serve and have served. But we should not limit ourselves to only this one day.

And as it pertains to the fighting that is going on today... We need to remember that "the enemy" is also made up of people. Yes, some of them probably are very bad people who need to be stopped. But some of them may not believe in what they are being forced to fight for, and others may only be defending themselves.

[I imagine I will get a few negative comments on this post.]

Lest we forget...

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