Taking time to remember

Remembrance Day is tomorrow, and once again it’s a day when millions will hopefully take a few moments to remember those lost in wars and conflicts around the world, or who have lived to tell of their experiences in war.

But with more members of those older generations passing away each year, it’s sobering to think that Remembrance Day could lose its some of its prominence in the years ahead as well.

Even young adults and ‘baby boomers’ can be estranged from what it felt like to witness the realities of war – even from a safe distance.

In contemporary society, and in peaceful times in particular, it can be a challenge to focus on the meanings of Remembrance Day, but it’s become all the more poignant in recent times with the ongoing conflicts raging overseas.

The world is a troubled place in many ways, and shows no sign of ever adopting consistent patterns of peace.

For example, people may have extremely mixed feelings about wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but both conflicts remind us of the price many are willing to pay for their countries and to extend the blessings of freedom.

Closer to home, losing young people from our own country strikes a chord not only with Canadians in general, but with younger citizens in particular.

We grieve for these young lives lost, and are reminded of the loss of thousands of Canadians who gave their lives during the First and Second World Wars, the Korean conflict, and peacekeeping missions around the world. We are reminded of the millions who lost their lives around the world as well.

On Remembrance Day we’re united in a common cause – to ponder what has been given for us – recently and in years before many of us were even born. The relevance of the day must never be forgotten.

There are services across Central Alberta to take part in, organized by local branches of the Royal Canadian Legion. So don’t forget to attend one, to wear a poppy and take a few minutes to think about what Remembrance Day means for our society.

There’s something extraordinary about the power of images as well. Looking over some pictures from war zones and war history is another means of tapping into the realities of what so many have experienced.

The point is it’s not just another day off. The lessons of history, and the heroic examples of bravery simply can’t be downplayed, ignored or ever forgotten. Too much has been lost and too high a price has been paid for anyone to have careless attitudes about such an important day.