Lest we forget.
Countries like Canada and the United Kingdom take pause today on the 11th of November to give thanks for all those who came forward, to suffer and die under the banners of freedom and justice.
While scholars debate the true meaning of why they went to war, let us not forget that it was not monetary gain to which our veterans enlisted, but out of a deep connection to their country. Minorities of countries like Canada also partook in the war effort, knowing full well that there was a risk they would not return home, and despite their lack of rights when compared to the majority, they fought for king and country so that they may earn their rights, and prove that they are as much citizens as the rest of the enlistees.
War breaks down perceived differences: when the fight starts, differences melt away.
While it is easy to dismiss war as unnecessary, brutal, and often dangerous to one’s life, let us not forget that war is also the reason why we have synthetic rubber for our tires, or the ability to debate subjectively various topics that float around the public sphere. While we do our best to avoid war in this globally connected world, violence is a part of human life, it is in our nature to fight when all other problem solving tools are either exhausted, or unsuitable.
There will always be a need for people like our veterans, and our current serving members of our armed forces: these men and women sacrifice much in the form of the freedom to choose where to reside – for relocation is frequent, and can disrupt family life – and the freedom to say “forget this, I am out of here.” Sometimes there comes a time and point where there needs to be someone to get the dirty work out of the way – that is the actual war fighting aspect of warfare itself.
The stress they go through, is far greater than any of us in civilian life will ever experience. One may not easily notice this, but going to work and taking care of kids does not cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD for short, nor does it leave one with nightmares that may haunt them for years to come.
No, our soldiers endure much more than a civilian can fathom, and their sense of duty is far beyond comprehension. When a son or daughter of the nation enlists, they commit themselves to the public order, to a homeland in which they owe everything to, and while they could have easily chosen another route, there is something in them – a sort of spark if you will – that gives them the courage to answer the call of duty.
Thus it is with great honour that we remember them every year on the 11th hour of the 11th month of the 11th day. We shall not forget those who shall not grow old, nor will we forget those who live to grow old.
A strong heart deserves a strong applause – thank you for all that you have done veterans, we shall not forget.