It seems that yet another Remembrance Day is upon us, and what has the world learned since Nov, 11 1918. Currently the number of active conflicts around the world seems to be on the increase. From the conflicts in the Middle East, to the genocides of Africa. Conflicts in the far corners of Russia and China flare up and are stamped out brutally as the world turns a blind eye. Israel and Palestine skirmish over narrow strips of land that both claim as home.
Drug cartels in Mexico fan the flames in Central America even as the memories of the 1980’s cartel violence in Colombia fade into history. All of the conflicts are not fought by armies. Some place tribal factions against each other in a struggle for survival. Village destroying village, those who began with nothing, emerging with even less.
Even the great powers of the world cannot hope to extinguish all the flames of war. The superpowers of the west bogged down by Taliban fighters in the Afghani highlands fight and die, in what may prove to be a futile attempt to bring freedom and education to the masses.
Canadian blood is mixing with the windswept sands, sacrificing lives for a sacred ideal, for a worthy goal. A dream, a hope that future generations can live free, learn and grow. Unfettered by ideology and dogma, in a world where the freedom to choose sometimes comes with a high price to be paid.
We are proud of our Soldiers and Sailors and Airmen. We honour your sacrifice today. We hope to learn from the lessons of the past, so that one day, hopefully soon the world can live in peace.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
John McCrae – May 3, 1915