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Remembering How?Remembering How?

Remembering How?

We can try to remember by way of the glory or the courage of war, or indeed by the horrors. We can remember viscerally—feeling the planes rumble overhead, hearing the cannons fired, seeing the veterans in their dwindling numbers. So how do we remember, as people living in a time vastly different from the great and tragic battles at Vimy, Amiens, Passchendaele, Dieppe, or Juno?

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Topics: Justice, Death, Legacy
Remembering How? November 11, 2013  |  By Brian Dijkema
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Perhaps we seek to remember by means that are not helpful.

We can try to remember by way of the glory or the courage of war, or indeed by the horrors. We can remember viscerally—feeling the planes rumble overhead, hearing the cannons fired, seeing the veterans in their dwindling numbers.

Yet the particular soldiers who fought for us are strange to us. Most are long passed. Their situations are foreign to us. Our country today little resembles the country they fought for.

So how do we remember, as people living in a time vastly different from the great and tragic battles at Vimy, Amiens, Passchendaele, Dieppe, or Juno?

Perhaps peace could, in a roundabout way, help us remember.

We do not remember those who fought and died out of some orphaned commitment to courage, heroism, or bravery in and of themselves. War is never glorious, and it never will be, even when the victories are great. We must be careful not to remember only victory and achievement, important as these are.

Rather might we remember our veterans' struggles and sacrifices as pursuits of peace—peace that is not simply the absence of war, but the "tranquility of order" and the exercise of justice.

Today, whether you're from Bombay or Brockville, take a moment to remember those who sacrificed by breathing deeply the fresh air of freedom. Give thanks to those who fought and died in pursuit of that freedom. And, especially, pray that the time will come when we ain't gonna study war no more.

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