Monday, November 11, 2013

Lest We Forget

I have always known November 11 to be "Remembrance Day," as does the rest of the British Commonwealth.  My American friends and family know it as "Veteran's Day."  Whatever you call it, November 11 is the day we remember soldiers who have died for our freedom.

Traditionally, in school, kids will hear a story from a soldier (probably recorded and played back) about their experience in World War I.  After that the entire school would recite/say the poem "In Flanders Fields" together, and we would have a moment of silence to remember soldiers who have died in the line of duty.

Today, I wanted my children to understand what World War I was about.  I wanted to understand what World War I was about.  I barely knew anything about it.

We read, we clicked, we researched.

Finally, after 30-some years of roaming this earth, I know why World War I was started, what they were fighting about, who fought on which side, how many Canadians were involved, and who the Canadian Prime Minister was throughout the war.  I knew none of that before today.

Today, the kids and I figured that about 6 out of 10 able-bodied men between the age of 18 and 45 went off to fight in WWI.  We went through a list of 10 men that age within our circle of friends and family and imagined if 6 of them had to go fight in a war for several years.  We didn't want to think about that happening to us and the men we knew and loved.

When I said "lest we forget" in the past, I didn't know what there was to forget.  Today I do.  Today, I appreciate what those men and those families sacrificed for the greater good of much of the world.  Today I know.

(If you don't know, please take a few minutes to look it up.  There are lots of sites that can fill you in on what happened and why.  It gets down to this:  One man from one country assassinated another man from another country.  The second country declared war and then little by little, others came to join in.  Read up on it.  Find out what really happened.)

1 comment:

  1. It is sobering to think of the sacrifices we have to live up to.