We sat in silence for a few moments after he told that story. How many others like it he could share, we'll probably never know.
But who remembers the more than 62 million civilians who also died, some through military action, others through resulting incarceration, famine and disease? Not to mention the soldiers and civilians who were injured and traumatized to the point that they couldn't go on with normal life? And then there's the decimation of the lands where war was made... more than 65 years after the last world war, we could still see the remnants of shell holes and concrete bunkers in Northern France.
My many days of remembrance this year have me thinking more deeply about how war can never bring about true peace. Witness how Canada's going to war in the Middle East brought about the deaths of two servicemen here in the last few weeks. Since then, I've been thinking that, during our Remembrance Days, we should remember not only those who died in our wars, but also reflect on peace and our role in it.
Last year we attended the Remembrance Day ceremony at the University of Alberta, but this year, I plan to join the Edmonton Ecumenical Peace Network in its prayer service and Public Prayer Walk for Peace. It starts at McDougall United Church (10025 101 Street) at 6 p.m. on Remembrance Day, well after the 11 a.m. moment of silence that we'll attend at our Legislature grounds.
God bless all those who have died in war, and grant us peace.