Monday, November 11, 2013

Remembrance Day 2013: Canada

Wars & Heroes

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.
Benjamin Disraeli

We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart.
Albert Einstein

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa: “Since its installation, it has become traditional to place poppies on the Tomb after the formal ceremony has concluded,” Wikipedia notes.
Photo Credit: Mikkel Paulson, Nov. 11, 2006
Source: Wikipedia

MEN have gone off to war since records of such things have been kept, and likely earlier than this; wars produce heroes for their nations who, no doubt, place their lives above others, at least momentarily; wars also produce victims. Of what use is a hero, when he is no longer there for his family, his wife, his children, his friends? Better alive than dead; n’est–ce pas?

Remembrance Day has been given some space on our calendar here in Canada, and other Commonwealth nations, since the end of the First World War; to remember is to not forget. We often remember what is important and what gives us value; we also remember as a means to keep us connected to history, to keep us in touch with the past. This is one reason why we often visit the grave-sites of whom we love, of whom we cherish.

On this day of remembrance and meaning, many wear symbolic red poppies on the left lapel (“In Flanders Fields”), and observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. The idea that one can make a sacrifice for the “cause of peace,” as Einstein says, is not a thought that is much heard today. No doubt, given the human appetite for violence wars will continue; and more people’s lives will be touched, shattered to a great degree, as a result of decisions made by the nation’s leaders.