Why Can’t Every Day Be Remembrance Day?

The National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario, ...

Image via Wikipedia

Millions of words will be written in honor of Remembrance Day, but I’m guessing that these three won’t be among them.

  • Ignorant.
  • Disgraceful.
  • Ungrateful.

We devote a single minute – some of us, at least – of a single day to honor the Fallen Soldier, but the next day the Fallen becomes the Forgotten once more.

You may see poppies on display for a week prior to November 11, but they disappear immediately, as does the sentiment they are meant to inspire.

I will, on occasion, spend a good portion of my day lamenting my lot in life. But I owe my very existence  to the soldiers who overthrew the Third Reich and created a world where a Polish resistance fighter could form a union with a German nurse. The blood of soldiers allowed them to emigrate to Canada and raise a family that included a smart-ass grandson who has tried to live up to the example they set out for him.

A few years ago, my daughter told us of a veteran that had been invited to her school on November 11; he had tears in his eyes as he attempted to convey the true spirit of the day. I’m sure he considered it his solemn honor to keep the memory of his brothers-in-arms alive by educating the children of the future they had died to protect. I can’t speak for other schools, but a proud and honorable tradition ended that year.

This day isn’t just about honoring the Fallen Soldier; it’s about listening to the messages of those who survived the physical trauma but are still plagued by the psychological scars. Our society treats those who came before as less than human at times, and our treatment of veterans – of all ages – is equally disgraceful.

They’ve seen the worst humanity has to offer and they leave more than blood behind; they lose a little piece of themselves. When the guns stop firing all they ask is to return home, but how is that possible when you’ve been to Hell and back?

And so we set aside a day to honor them. But do we really understand them?

  • Most of us have never had to leave behind everything we know to travel to a foreign land and engage in a battle we don’t fully understand.
  • How many of us can say we’ve been so scared we couldn’t move, but we had no choice but to charge ahead into the unknown?
  • I’ve never had to stand on a foreign battlefield and watch helplessly as my brothers-in-arms die all around me.

Then again, that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Millions of soldiers have fought and died to give all of us a chance to live our lives in peace. Ask yourself this question: “What am I willing to give them in return?”

ONE FINAL NOTE:

I recently told you about my wife’s Aunt Pat and her struggle with cancer. Sadly, Pat left us at 3 am on Remembrance Day. She will be greatly missed.

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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49 Responses to Why Can’t Every Day Be Remembrance Day?

  1. mindslam says:

    Couldn’t have been written any better my friend. Beautiful.

    • The Hook says:

      Thanks, I appreciate it. I wasn’t sure how this would be received, but I felt strongly enough to post it on both blogs. Be well, my friend.

  2. Nicely said, TH. A potent reminder.

  3. Jo Bryant says:

    Oh dear Hook – you’ve made me cry.

  4. Pingback: Remembrance. | Chronicles of Illusions

  5. Spectra says:

    Thank you for honoring those who made our lives today possible. Whether in Canada, the US, or Europe, they all mattered. And you have done a good job of portraying that, and connecting this to your personal history. Very engaging.

  6. An important read. I remember “selling”/handing out poppies for Verteran’s Day” every year as a child. Sadly, that tradition has disappeared here. My father was a medic in WWII (Battle of the Bulge, lost behind enemy lines once, liberated concentration camp). There horrors of war were so bad he never talked about it until his 70’s and worried the younger generation wouldn’t understand or remember. Thanks so much for this post.

  7. Cindy says:

    Unspeakably sad, but a very beautiful piece of writing, Mister Hook!

  8. timkeen40 says:

    There is so much I could add to this, but it would just be in support of an already well written piece. All of us that are free live on the shoulders of the sacrifices our soldiers and their families are willing to make.

    Great writing as usual, Hook.

    Tim

  9. sonsothunder says:

    Very well said, and I couldn’t agree more.. I recall another moment in time.. not 11/11/11, but the weeks following 9/11, when an entire nation, possibly the world gathered in churches to pray and speak their minds to God, and about country.. One tremendous gathering. The terrible attack and destruction of 3000 thousand innocent people certainly brought us all together regardless of our political differences…

    For about a week or two
    Bless You
    paul

  10. nicole says:

    “This day isn’t just about honoring the Fallen Soldier; it’s about listening to the messages of those who survived the physical trauma but are still plagued by the psychological scars.”

    my grandfather was five years old, surviving the most ferocious of trauma in WWII italy. i interviewed him for a school project once, and he burst into tears, reliving the stories. it was the only time and will probably be the only time that anyone will ever see him cry. x

  11. TBM says:

    Great post Hook. Thanks for sharing.

  12. raisingdaisy says:

    Bravo, Hook. This should be published in newspapers everywhere. I salute you.

  13. giancarlo ♥ cinnamoroll;] says:

    Oh 😦 they are the real superman and spiderman and batman and etc.

  14. eva626 says:

    great post Hook. props to them

  15. Caroline says:

    I’m so sorry about your loss, Hook. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I know Pat will be truly missed.

  16. Androgoth says:

    Very well said Hook and you are correct,
    surely we can do a lot better than that:)
    My father was a Pilot in WWII flying the
    Liberator B24 Bomber, I mean he came
    home after the war but I truly understand
    why you feel the way you do about the
    terrible lack of interest shown and how a
    lot of peeps never even bother with it at
    all, it is rather disappointing isn’t it? 😦

    Have a very good weekend Hook 🙂

    Androgoth

  17. Androgoth says:

    I am very sorry about your wife’s Auntie Pat,
    it is very sad indeed my wickedly fine friend…

    Androgoth

  18. countoncross says:

    Great post! Very sorry to hear about Aunt Pat….sorry for your loss!
    Such an amazing post! My new son-in-law is in the Army and when we were all out the other day he wore an Army shirt and I was so suprised by the amount of people that would stop and thank him for serving our Country. So proud of them all.

  19. giselzitrone says:

    Super Beitrag bin sehr traurig über Pat.Wünsche dir noch einen schönen Samstag und ein schönes W.E. lieber Gruss Gislinde

  20. I love your silly posts, but I love your reflective ones even more. I love how much you share in a single sentence:
    But I owe my very existence to the soldiers who overthrew the Third Reich and created a world where a Polish resistance fighter could form a union with a German nurse.

    I wish I’d read this yesterday. In a way, though, I’m glad I didn’t, because it reminds me this is an honor and a gratitude I need to carry with me every single day.

    My condolences on Pat’s passing.

  21. Best post you’ve ever written. My condolences to Pat’s family. I guess Remembrance Day just got a little harder every year from now on.

  22. I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your Aunt. I do agree with your thoughts on Veterans Day and thought that was very nicely written. God bless.

  23. So very true that we tend to forget so soon afterwards. May we stop and remember and be thankful the heros each and every day instead of just on the Remembrance Days!

  24. brittany220 says:

    Great tribute to the soldiers and great post as well Hook! I agree with Deborah in that I enjoy your reflective posts very much as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us!

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