Remembrance Day

November 11, 2013 Leave a comment

What we now know as Veterans Day began as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, commemorating the end of “The War to End All Wars.” Sadly, World War I paved the way and was quickly followed by World War II. And countless lives have been lost in wars since. Sara Robinson’s description of the relationship between Remembrance Day and pacifism in Canada struck me as a powerful reminder on this Veteran’s Day. Here’s an excerpt from a longer post.

“Remembrance Day and Canadian pacifism are two essential parts of one consistent whole. Canadians believe in peace in no small part because they make a point of stopping, once every year, to truly ponder the cost of war — to look their veterans in the eyes, and take in the damage, and thank them. And, perhaps, to ask forgiveness for asking so much. They gather at the cenotaphs to remind themselves and their children of what is lost, and how precious life is, and how very important it is not to allow those kinds of conflicts to get started in the first place. It is that annual willingness to come back, year after year, and unflinchingly take stock of the prices paid that drives their determination to pursue peace. If they failed to remember, to open their hearts to their grief as thoroughly as they do, their commitment to peace might not be so strong. Those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”

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