Remembering the Future

Poppies

We get so busy in our respective worlds that having special days like “remembrance day” or “thanksgiving” or “Labour Day” are very important ways of giving us perspective.

Remembering with gratitude

Remembering – the original immigrants (like the current ones) and the struggle through which they endured is so important at Thanksgiving. We take our lives for granted – but our ancestors (and refugees today) struggle immensely to exist with some kind of happiness. Sometimes we are myopic and think that the turkey is about our present abundance. Far from true. It reminds us of ancestral struggle and of our need to build a future for our children.

Remembrance Day is sometimes construed to simply remember sacrificed lives. Oh…don’t get me wrong…there is so much pain in remembering the lives of those who never returned to us because of wars. It’s important to not let their memories die. However, it’s equally important to let their lives have an effect on our current living and our thrust into the future.

The war and those who remained

I have spent lots of time in Europe and viewed the remains of that horrible war that we called WWII. I cannot even fathom what those women went through as they took their wash buckets and tried to douse the flames at St. Paul’s in London. I cannot imagine what the people in Poland felt when they stood in lines and had every 10th person shot – just for fun. I can’t imagine what the Jewish community felt as they were rounded up into ghettos and then put in cattle cars, shipped to Auschwitz and sorted into useful and useless lines. We all know what happened at that point.

I don’t want to get into American Politics…but this is Remembrance time and how can we avoid it? Donald Trump has specifically asked the question – “why would we make nuclear weapons if we are unwilling to use them?” He has certainly spoken of using them against ISIS and even European Allies that do not toe the line. (Remember the US has not used a nuclear weapon since 1945)

Fighting for peace

There is no sense of Remembering into the future in this. Yes people died….but they died for peace. Many people went to fight for peace and did not die in various wars and some still live among us in Canada. We honour them, we honour the dead….because they remind us to never let this happen again. When someone says that we need to be willing to use our nuclear weapons, we must be afraid – because they truly do not remember…and they have truly forgotten – if they ever knew in the first place.

Most of us remember, most of us will never forget and most of us commit these days to the peace that our soldiers fought to create and preserve.

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