Peace, quiet and other ideals
Peace and quiet have become unattainable ideals in our world. Although there seems to be an app for everything these days, we will never achieve worldwide peace. There will always be some sort of conflict on this planet, for as long as it is around. And quiet. OMG! LOL! Like, that is so totally impossible.
However, with Remembrance Day approaching, we are supposed to at least attempt to look beyond our tiny world and tiny devices and be respectful, pensive and reflect on bigger issues that are not all about ourselves.
When our lives are dominated by “social media,” it is so easy to share sentiments. Sadly, often the air is filled with negative feelings. Hate can be spewed instantaneously. Friends forever can be rapidly dissed, blocked, unfriended.
Creating and sharing thoughtful and caring thoughts evidently require more effort, and time, than gushing out criticism. Lashing out demands little thought.
But let us try to inch away from our screens and try to find a few moments to think of the countless number of people who made the supreme sacrifices so we can continue to live in one of the most free countries in the world, and have the right to spew almost anything we want.
November 11 is special this year. A century ago, the First World War ended. That was supposed to have been the War To End All Wars. But, of course, that was followed by World War II, Korea, Afghanistan and a plethora of other conflicts. The senseless destruction has not stopped, it has merely taken different forms over the last 100 years.
The global wars left an indelible mark on communities across the coun- try. Nobody has been untouched as the young marched off to fight the good fight in far-off lands.
Imagine the euphoria of that early morning of November 11, 1918 when word was reached that there would be peace.
While the trench warfare would end, another battle would continue on the home front -- Spanish Flu was taking a deadly toll. But the boys were coming home, and the future looked so bright. Almost every hamlet and village in our country has some connection to that Great War.
Names and dates on cenotaphs and plaques pay tribute to the gallant and the brave, who never grew old.
The long lists of casualties are staggering. It is impossible to fathom the emotions of those whose lives have been destroyed by wars.
And yet we are obliged to try to free up some time, only once a year, to think of the price that has been paid for our liberty.
Of course, like everything else, remembrance is a topic of heated discussion Out There on Social Media, where somebody is telling us how we should properly honour our veterans.
Some of the suggested forms of remembrance include requirements that everyone wear a poppy, support the military, not put up Christmas decorations before November 12, and not buy anything on November 11. Obviously, we are free to observe the centennial of the Armistice Day in any way we see fit. But attending a Remembrance Day ceremony requires little effort. If we can’t make it to a ceremony today, we should all try to at least observe a moment of silence at the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month.