Peace is frag­ile

Penticton Herald - - OPINION -

Thank­fully, it’s im­pos­si­ble for most of us to truly un­der­stand the hor­rors of war; only those who lived through it can re­ally know what it’s like. But as the ma­jor con­flicts con­tinue to re­cede in time – this Re­mem­brance Day marks 100 years since the First World War ended – it also be­comes more dif­fi­cult to imag­ine how such a war could even start. Or does it?

The world is a scary place and peace seems more frag­ile than ever, par­tic­u­larly south of the bor­der.

More and more, we seem to be at­tached to a pow­der keg: a mass shoot­ing at a syn­a­gogue in Pitts­burgh, the U.S. pres­i­dent ban­ning a CNN re­porter from the White House, white na­tion­al­ists ral­ly­ing.

Yes, we’re talk­ing about the U.S., but make no mis­take: Canada would surely be drawn into any con­flict in­volv­ing our cousins.

And it’s not like Canada has been im­mune to tragedy.

The coun­try has suf­fered un­der its own acts of ter­ror, like a 2017 as­sault on a Que­bec mosque and a lone gun­man storm­ing Par­lia­ment Hill in 2014.

They may seem like iso­lated events, but then again, it’s un­likely any­one knew the as­sas­si­na­tion of Arch­duke Franz Fer­di­nand in Sara­jevo in 1914 would be the flash­point for the First World War.

That’s not to say we’re doomed. If any­thing, we’re in a bet­ter po­si­tion than ever to spot ris­ing ten­sions and act to defuse them.

It’s ac­tu­ally one of the most es­sen­tial func­tions of Re­mem­brance Day: Not only do we hon­our those who served and are serv­ing to pro­tect our way of life, we also take time to recom­mit our­selves to en­sur­ing war never hap­pens again.

On that last point alone, it’s of the ut­most im­por­tance Sun­day to take a mo­ment – even if you can’t at­tend a proper cer­e­mony – to re­flect on what you can do to en­sure no more of us ever truly un­der­stand the hor­rors of war.

Lest we for­get. City ed­i­tor Joe Fries

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