We don’t want to forget. We want to remember.
We say the words today and the days leading up. We wear the poppies and our hearts long for the words to be true for us.
Our words, these words that we say, are a reflection of what we truly want to be.
We don’t want to forget. But sometimes we do.
We want to remember. But often we don’t.
We’re thankful for our freedom. But most days we simply skip along without giving it much thought.
The boys and I were talking yesterday about Remembrance Day and I was surprised at the words they put forth. They told me how they sort of get it but that they don’t really get it. Like, their heads tell them that this is important and they want to display the respect that goes along with Remembrance Day but they don’t REALLY feel it, or get it, or recognize the impact. They said it just feels like a day off school. But one where they think people shouldn’t play Call of Duty. (Oh, teenagers)
I was so proud of them for their honesty. And the truth of it is, I nodded right along with them. Because while I have a teeny tiny glimmer of what happened so our country could be free, I don’t understand it nearly in a way that I should. I don’t understand what men and women had to go through so that I can sit here typing away on my lap top in my home without fear. I can’t grasp the trauma. I can’t conjure up the feelings. I can’t make myself know what that much bravery feels like. Or that much terror. I can’t feel the feelings for that much loss. For that much gain.
So we began to talk about ways we could at least learn. Because maybe with more knowledge comes more awareness and following awareness is impact and impact always gives way to emotion and maybe, just maybe, emotion could lead to action.
I assume, for our family, that our ignorance may be due to not having a grandpa that can sit and tell us the stories. Maybe it’s because we don’t have pictures of family members in uniform and so it feels distant. Too far away to really change us. Maybe I just totally dropped the parenting ball on this one and placed higher value on sleeping in and drinking coffee in bed than honouring those who served.
But we want to change that!
We want to have a bit more of a grasp, a bit more of an appreciation, a bit more of a reverence when it comes to Remembrance Day. While we may not have a personal connection to any of those who lost their lives for our freedom, while we may not have had the stories told in our living room of mama’s sending off their barely adult boys, while we may not fully grasp it all – we want to. And somehow I think that’s a good place to start.
So tell me, what do you do for Remembrance Day?
Do you attend a local parade or memorial? Do you watch documentaries? Do you listen to stories of Veterans?
Or are you a bit ignorant, like us? Sipping your coffee in bed and watching the sun stream in through the windows. Because that’s okay too!