Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11... Remembering... for the sake of peace

The year after university, I travelled with a performing group, and we spent a fair bit of time in Belgium, where many Canadians lost their lives in WWI to the insanity known as mustard gas. One of my host families took me on a war tour around their area, and across the French border to Vimy Ridge, and it was probably one of the most profound days of that year of my life. Seeing all those gravestones standing row on row in Flanders fields, and then standing on the Ridge and looking up at the sorrowing women of the towering white granite monument on the only Canadian soil in Europe -- 91 hectares where 11, 285 Canadian trees and shrubs live to honour the young men who fought and died there -- I suddenly saw the real importance of Remembrance Day.

Use this as your Facebook or Twitter profile picture.It's not about glorifying the fallen, or cheering on our veterans, though we do thank them for the sacrifices they have made. It's about remembering those who have died, and about the true yearning we all have that no more people will die because of senseless war. It is our deep longing for the best alternative to war... peace.

Today, I pray that humanity will find non-violent ways to solve our disagreements, and that those who are in uniform will soon be able to come home. I'll admit I'm something of an idealist, but I think that, given human history, it's better than being a militarist.

If you are remembering for the sake of peace, too, you might like to check this out:

Dona nobis pacem...

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