Ok, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that for most Canadian kids, remembrance day was quite a shock - just about the only communal day for feeling sad together. So many other holidays dedicated to promoting happiness, one for sadness. It seems like we don't need that kind of reminder when we look around the world today - war seems unending and the victories of old seem more and more like unrecoverable memories. Therefore, on such a day - in times of mounting global conflict - we should look at the true remembrance-day heros - the soldiers who died, the pain of loosing loved ones and miscellaneous flavors of destruction as only part of the story.
Those who came home from war were forever changed. They told us of not only the terror and death, but of their desire that we oppose war and promote peace. They spoke of the exuberance they felt when finally released from the bonds of war, keen to restart their lives and see their families. On remembrance day, they didn't speak of retribution for terror incidents - they spoke of promoting peace, not punishment. They sure as hell didn't tell us to fight for oil or mid-east dominance. They knew what war costs, and were certain that bloodshed would solve nothing.
Though the soldiers fought for their countries, they did not fight for their own freedom, but out of a sense of defending / preserving their own families. I suspect that over time, many came to understand that their war was as deceitful and ill-begotten as any before it. The ensuing rejection of Vietnam by their offspring surely must shed some light on their feeling for war. That we seem to have forgotten what they told us, makes the 911 wars so devastating.
Cut - ( Original version at QSLS)
Their generation's advice is rapidly being forgotten - they told us to live not only for ourselves, but to protect our country against war. That we must now apply their principles in reverse - to counter enemies within our own governments - will be the test of our generation.
Peace Out. Dan F.