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On Remembrance

Confessions of a realistic Pollyanna

Today it is important to take a few moments to remember.  97 years ago on this day the Armistice was signed ending the First World War.  After four years of fighting, guns were finally laid aside and peace came to Europe.  November 11th has become a day when we think about the lives that have been changed by all wars.  We thoughtfully think about the millions who have lost their lives in all wars.  We remember the people at home who lost loved ones, who put lives on hold, who sacrificed, who grew up to soon, who did not grow up at all.  This day is a day to remember, to say thank you, to offer prayers, to work for peace.  This day it is important to take a few minutes and think back.
I know I have been very lucky.  I have never lost a friend or colleague or family member in war.  But that does not mean that my life has not been touched by war.  I know that my dad's older brothers were never quite the same after the war.  Their time in Europe with the Army for one and their air force for two others had forever changed them.  Even though I was born 18 years after Japan and Germany surrendered, these men were never quite the same because of their time in the Armed forces.
I have been lucky, because I didn't know anyone who died in the Gulf War or in Afghanistan or Iraq.  I didn't know anyone killed in terrorist attacks.  And I never have had to take up arms and fight another person.  Luckily my country has not called on me and I have never had to make that choice of fighting or standing back.
But I don't think it is just luck.  The sacrifices made by others in centuries past have made possible the peace we enjoy now.  Oh it is not a perfect peace, anything but, but I am sure the efforts of combatants and civilians past were not in vain.  So even though our world is far from perfect, even though millions will continue to die on the battlefields, I know that I live in a better world now because of the efforts of so many.  So today, I pause and remember.
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