Remembrance Day has been a part of my life for as long as I can recall; during elementary school, we would attend the obligatory assemblies in the gymnasium, listen to Taps, and create posters in memory of things we couldn’t comprehend. In high school, I would listen respectfully while our elders spoke of great wars and great tragedies – again, with little to no comprehension, other than the fact that this was indeed, a serious and solemn occasion.
I’m not sure when Remembrance Day ceremonies started to have a powerful effect on me – maybe it was halfway through my degree in History, with an intense focus on the World Wars – but I remember watching a ceremony and hearing the forlorn, achingly sad sound of the bagpipes, and I cried. I cried because people like my family had been killed, and are still being killed to this day. I cried because younger me was quite correct, in not being able to comprehend – I’ve never been in a war-torn area. I can’t even begin to understand. I cried because I felt powerless to be able to share with veterans how much their sacrifice meant to me. I cried because of how futile and tragic war is.
I am not a crier, but I also don’t want this post to be about me. It’s about remembering, and recognizing. Respecting those who have laid down their lives. Respecting our past, as a human race, and trying to bring hope to our future. I realize that I’m not being quite as articulate as I would like to be on this matter that is so incredibly important, but please, if you get nothing else out of this post, get this: spare some time today, at 11a.m. Take a moment. Think. Respect. Recognize. And remember.