Remembrance Day Fail
Walking by the church, there was a funeral going on
Veterans standing on the stairs, trying to stay strong
Young men still inside their heads, had seen tragedy and death
And now another soldier, had taken his last breath
When duty called they answered, they didn’t ask the cost
Did they know the price of war would mean a generation lost
And all the generations since, do they remember or even care
That those veterans at the church still smell death upon the air
Would the men and women of today sacrifice their lives
What would they think of friendly fire if it killed their husbands and their wives
They really care, they feel the pain but not in their back yard
If lunch is late or coffees cold, they figure life is hard
The veterans fought to give the life and freedoms of today
How few remember, how few care, what would the fallen say
To know they fought, to know they died, to see them dying still
And what it means to many is enough to make me ill
So go ahead, shop till you drop, just don’t fall in a trench
Knee deep in mud, artillery fire, trying to save the French
But if you know a veteran, say thanks and shake their hand
So you can live your life exactly as you planned
Remember the wars, remember the veterans, remember the sacrifices. I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like to be in battle. The thought of having other people shooting at me to kill using guns or bombs, artillery and other weapons of small scale destruction is just not a rational one to a sane person. The concept of individual combat to the death or being a bit player in a large scale military manoeuvre while under fire is beyond frightening. Multi year campaigns through extreme weather. Attack, retreat, kill, destroy, repeat.
I guess the “War to End all Wars” wasn’t as successful as perhaps first believed. War seems to still be as popular as ever. Maybe the scale of the conflict isn’t as large but a fair sized portion of the globe has some type of war for a multitude of reasons going on. Resources, geography, religion and stupidity are some of the justifications that a percentage of mankind thinks war, even a limited war is acceptable. I just can’t accept that the people dying in these current wars really want to die anymore than the veterans we so honour on November 11th wanted to die. Even a promise of everlasting paradise doesn’t quite seem like a good enough reason to die in war.
This year for Remembrance Day, I’m going to think of Vimy Ridge and Dieppe and mourn the brave Canadian souls who fought and died in the two world wars, as well as Korea, Afghanistan and so many other locations around the globe. I will also reflect on all the soldiers who fought for the other side. I will not forget those that are dying today in conflicts around the world. War is not the solution, why do we keep killing each other trying to prove that it is.
So while those of us who actually remember will spend a few moments of our time wearing a poppy and shedding a tear, many will be grateful for the long weekend. They are not quite sure why they got Friday off but it’s awesome. War happens in other times and other places to other people. It’s going on for millions and millions around the world today and there will still be war tomorrow. The wars of yesterday seemed to have solved nothing. So for all the combatants on all sides and all the civilians who seem to increasingly take the brunt of the carnage, I’m going to remember. I’m going to remember that they are human and that they probably really didn’t want to die. War and the reasons for it are pretty fucked up. So when you remember to pack your car for the long weekend to go shopping or camping or visiting or whatever you do on a long weekend in a free country far away from the madness, please don’t forget. Those veterans on the church steps remember.