Remembrance Day is Saturday and we reflect on not only how much this event has changed but how much we still need this solemn reminder – maybe now more than ever.
Many readers will remember when there were parents and grandparents – veterans all – who donned their uniforms and poppies and, with sad eyes, marched yearly to the cenotaph to lay wreaths and think of friends and family who never made it home.
As a newspaper, it was a simple matter to find a veteran of the Great War or Second World War to interview for the occasion, to bring home the reality of war and its incalculable losses.
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So many of these folks are now gone. There is no one left to tell the firsthand tales of serving in the trenches during the Great War. There are few to tell us of the Second, and their numbers diminish every year. But it doesn’t make Remembrance Day any less important.
Conflicts abound today. Refugees are numerous and desperate. Too many have their own, fresh memories of wars that rage in other parts of the world.
On Remembrance Day we say, “lest we forget,” yet it seems we have collectively forgotten in too many cases.
Those who fought and died in the First and Second World Wars did so with the hope that we in successive generations wouldn’t have to suffer a similar fate. That’s what Remembrance Day is all about: an honouring of our dead, yes, but also a warning of the price to be paid in conflict.
A solemn minute of silence indeed.