Lest We Forget

On my side of the Canada/US border, we call today Remembrance Day. That’s typical of nations that count themselves part of the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth of Nations. In the US border, it’s Veterans Day. In New Zealand, France, Belgium, and Serbia, it’s Armistice Day. Don’t be afraid to point out if I’ve missed someone.

But whatever we choose to call it, the Observance references the ceasefire that effectively (if not officially) ended World War I, “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” in 1918, but it’s come to be a day of memorials and services to honour those who have served their country, and especially those who died in that service.

Don’t get hung up on the World Wars. There have, unfortunately, been a lot more conflicts and peace keeping activities in the decades since. There will probably continue to be in the decades to come. It’s not an observance of the past some people continue to cling to and it’s not irrelevant or inconvenient.

Remembrance Day brings relevance to every other holiday and, in fact, every other thing we might choose to celebrate. Over the generations, people have fought, bled, and died to give us the luxury of not giving a shit. If you didn’t at 11 am this morning, take a couple of minutes. Remember the people in your family whom you know wore a uniform at some point. Stretch that remembrance out to encompass everyone who has stood as the shield between our society and the darkness that might have been. Whisper a word of thanks, even if it’s only in the privacy of your own skull.

Then, if you really need to, you can go back to not giving a shit. Because that’s part of what they’ve protected.

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