Most often, when we think of Remembrance Day, we think of the First and Second World Wars. That’s not surprising. They were two of the most horrific wars the world has seen, and the stories of their epic battles have become legends in their own right: Ypres, Vimy Ridge Dunkirk, Ortona and so many more.
But the sad truth is that war wasn’t all wrapped up in those two confrontations.
Itʼs been many years since the ﬁrst Remembrance Day was held, back in 1919 to honour those who had served in the First World War, the “war to end all wars.” It wasn’t, of course, and barely a day passed in the 20th Century that there wasn’t conflict somewhere in the world; it doesn’t look like the 21st century is going to change that trend.
There are so many to remember; soldiers who volunteered and gave their lives, both in war and peacekeeping in Rwanda, Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East and so many more. According to the Department of National Defence, On any given day, about 8,000 Armed Forces members are preparing for, engaged in or are returning from an overseas mission.
Their role has expanded over the years to include repatriating refugees, delivering aid, even reclaiming clearing land mines to reclaim war-torn landscapes. But still, many lives have been lost throughout the last 50 years pursuing these peaceful goals. So, as Remembrance Day rolls around, forget about the war movies on TV, forget about having an extra day off and remember the wars, genocides, famines, police states, and crimes against humanity that the world has lived through.
As another Remembrance Day passes, it’s more important than ever that we don’t just blindly observe those minutes of silence at 11:11 a.m. But what should we remember? And why?
Those minutes are a prayer for peace that goes all the way back to that “war to end all wars.” So turn your thoughts to that dream of peace, and all those who gave their lives working for that seemingly unreachable goal, and pray that this century mankind finally comes together.