As the number of survivors from WWI have dwindled to three and the baby boomers reach retirement, it is easy to forget the actual sacrifice made by countless men and women against fascism and for a better future for their progeny. Though we haven’t seen an all out global war since 1945, there have still been enough conflicts the world over that continue to destroy lives and nations by perpetuating violence. I have friends who are in war zones, driven by a sense of justice and patriotism, and I have friends who have come to this country as refugees, with only the clothes on their back and stark images in their minds. As there are people who choose war for personal gain and extremist ideology, there are people who chose to sacrifice for a higher ideal than themselves.
And so, I choose to remember. Not just on Remembrance Day but the day after and all the days after that. My fascination with war and why it occurs is can easily be read as an intellectual process (which it is most of the time). But once the essay or the blog post is done, once the discussion is over and the arguments have been made, my mind tends to drift into the motivations that possess people to destroy themselves. Because no matter where the conflict is happening, we tend to lose as a collective when they occur.
And just because I’m Canadian and patriotic and love poetry, I just wanted to end with this.