Thursday, November 11, 2010
Today is Remembrance Day and as I browse through the blog posts and twitter updates, I've been thinking.
I come from a Mennonite family, and so am a pacifist. I don't believe in war or that killing people is the answer to problems. I believe that a peaceful resolution is possible, and will work towards reaching that goal. And so, alongside a poppy, I don a button that reads "To remember is to work for PEACE".
It's a reminder that today, we don't just honor our veterans, but also acknowledge the goals to which our veterans made sacrifices for, the purpose in which they serve. Not only to protect us from potential physical harm, but to defend our rights and freedoms and the rights and freedoms of people all over the world.
Because when we remember war on this day, we remember the horrors of war. The rape, the torture, the mass murders of ethnic groups and the disabled.
We remember them as well, and we say "never again".
Never again will we silently witness the atrocities that occurred in the past.
But we're not done yet, are we? There are still wars going on, there is still people being discriminated against, people being abused, tortured, raped and murdered for no good reason. And there's really no justification for any of it. But as long as there is injustice, as long as there is hate, as long as every man, woman and child of every background and origin (and I mean, EVERY) cannot feel safe everywhere, we're not done yet.
And so, for the sacrifices of the past, the sake of the present and the hopes of the future, today we remember what has gone on before, in order to work for peace.
(this post was actually a little hard to write. I keep remembering my grandparents, Oma and Opa. They survived WWII in Russia. From what we know, Opa was drafted by gunpoint first by the Russian army, and then the German army before running away and surrendering to the American army. Oma apparently walked across Russia to follow the German army out of the country. They met in a refugee camp. Opa had apparently been engaged to another woman, but couldn't find her, and so married Oma. They moved to Canada when my Dad was 2 years old. That's what we know. They wouldn't say more and records from then are scattered and incomplete. Honestly, from what I do know, I can't blame them for not talking about it.)