We need to respect Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is a day of respect.

Although freedom of speech is a right of Canadians and an important component of democracy, Remembrance Day is the one day that asks the citizens of Canada to remember the personal sacrifices soldiers have made and the trauma that war inflicts on the world.

Some of us attend ceremonies at cenotaphs and legion halls because of our grandparents or parents, because of respect for what our veterans did for Canada, because we currently have family or friends serving in the Canadian Forces, because we have lost friends and loved ones in the service of our country.

However, for many, Remembrance Day has just become a routine.

As Canadians, we experience an emotional disconnection to the situation of war; fortunately, our country hasn’t been where any recent war has taken place and, as there is no conscription, people are not enlisting for war in the volumes of the past.

Nevertheless, it is important to take the time to connect to the veteran’s sacrifices and the situations of conflict that are apparent throughout history and the world.

Some people will use Nov. 11 to protest about the Canadian military presence in Afghanistan, or criticize how Remembrance Day can glorify war or that military service and war should not warrant a public holiday.

Others will argue about the motivation behind Remembrance Day: what war it commemorates, what people are involved and what ideologies are invested in its history like democracy and equality.

But by remembering the past, we can learn for the future.

We can remember that people just like us have witnessed the death of friends and family, have been displaced from their homes and have had their cities destroyed as a result of war.

Remembrance Day, regardless of the specifics, is a day to respect the fragility of peace and remember the tremendous sacrifices that have been undertaken to preserve it.

–The Cord Editorial Board