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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

November 11.
Remembrance Day.
The day in 1918 that officially ended World War I.
A day to honour those that fought - and still fight - for our countries.
A day I have trouble with every year.

You see, I was raised in the Mennonite Christian faith and Mennonites are pacifists. We believe this because Jesus himself was all about peace.
I also live in a country where war and military are noticeably scarce compared to our American neighbours.
Therefore, we never observe Remembrance Day with particular reverence. My family also has chosen not to wear the commemorative red poppy that is handed out every year.November 11 is mostly just an extra day off.


Today I am feeling a bit contemplative on the issue and not as hard-nosed as I have been.
I am thinking:
- where would my life be had those wars not taken place? Hitler would have still been Hitler and done his Hitler things. The same goes for Osama Bin Laden and many others.
- would we be living the life of freedom we currently live? Or would those evil dictators have taken over?
- there are men and women who truly believe(d) in the their country and in fighting for it, am I dishonouring them as people with my refusal to observe this day?
- is this day about more than just war?
- could/is there have been another more peaceful way?

I will likely never be pro-war but I realize that there is more to this day than just fighting.
I don't need to honour the war but I can honour the people who have/do/will sacrifice themselves for what they believe in.


Karen said...

You're quite right Carla. Down here, patriotism is a huge deal and I always wondered why Canada isn't like that. It's not just the Mennonites, it's most of the country.
War isn't just about fighting, it's about sacrifice and without it, as horrible as it was/is, we wouldn't enjoy the freedoms we have. I'm with you on this one. We need to make a bigger deal on both sides of the fence, and be sensitive to those who have lost loved ones so we could be free.
Lest we forget....

Tammie said...

such a beautiful post and i agree with you so strongly about this. im a pacifist too but i do have such great respect for the men and women who do fight wars.

i would love to know more about your mennonite faith. i dont know much about it.