On November 11 many countries pay respect to war veterans. As this blog is often talking about historical conflicts (particularly World War I and World War II) I thought it was appropriate to break for a moment to reflect and remember.
For those of us residing in countries that are part of the Commonwealth, we pay respect to service men and women as part of a tradition started by King George V in 1919 after the end of hostilities in World War I. In the United States, a similar memorial is observed known as Veterans day and other countries around the world hold similar days either on November 11 or at other times during the year.
Though it was started to mark the end of World War I (on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day of the eleventh month), the day has since gone on to encompass other conflicts and as a day of remembrance and memorial of veterans.
On a day like this, I tend to pause and reflect on the horrible battles that were fought on all sides and for all reasons. I do my best to learn the history behind those battles so that I can remember those stories, learn from them and share them with others so that we never need to repeat them again outside of story (and simulation).
I wanted to share a familiar poem on Remembrance Day with the first chapter of John McCrae’s famous ‘In Flanders Fields’.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
No matter who you are or where you are from, I encourage others to remember, reflect, understand and work together to learn deeply from our past mistakes. On this day I remember.
Image Credit: I had trouble finding the credit for this featured image. If it is yours and it has been used in appropriately please contact me and I will remove it immediately (also, its a lovely photo and fitting for a day such as this).