Lest We Forget
These three words surround us on this day of remembrance, but do we truly take the time to stop and reflect upon their meaning.
I am, by nature, a peaceful soul. Violence, weapons and war are something that exist outside of my realm and something I don’t often choose to think about. In fact, on a recent visit to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, I was left in tears as I reflected upon the amount of money and energy that has been spent on people killing each other. Yet here today, I take the time to call to mind a world filled fear, blood and gunpowder and I reflect upon these words.
Lest We Forget
Lest we forget the sacrifices made by the men and women in service for our country. As we remember and honor them, it is important that we look beyond the simplified and often trite, “They gave their lives for our freedom,” phrase that is thrown around on Remembrance Day. We do need to remember that many of these men and women made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives, but it was for more than just our freedom. It was to make the world a better place. Yes, it was through the hands of violence, but the intent was noble. Whether it was to rid the world of a tyrannical dictator or to protect the lives of the innocent we must all remember the men and women in service who gave their very lives so we would have a better world in which to live. As importantly, we also need to remember how these men and women also put on hold their very lives. They walked away from their education, careers and families. They left behind the comforts we enjoy each day. And those who came home, did so forever changed. They may cover old memories with new, but they never leave behind the haunting memories of what they have seen and what they have done in the name of freedom.
Lest we forget the sacrifices made by the families left behind. Families who entrusted their husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters into the hands of noble causes and violence. Families who did their best to go about their day to day lives often not knowing where their loved one was, what they were doing or even if they were safe or still alive. Families who craved the ringing of the phone, and dreaded a knock at the door.
Lest we forget the innocents caught in the middle of war. Innocent children, women and men who had done nothing more than live in the wrong place and the wrong time. Because of the sacrifices of many I only have to imagine a life in a war torn country where both hunger and fright gnaw at your very being each and everyday. I live a blessed life when so many before me, and unfortunately many still today, wonder if they will survive to see another sunrise.
Lest we forget is not just about remembering the war, but taking the time to honour the personal sacrifices that so many have made so that the world is a better place. Loss and sacrifice so that we may live a life without fear and persecution. It is for that very reason I will stand in silent reflection during a moment of silence and remember. I will reflect, cry a little and send out a silent thank you to all who have made the world a better place.