Remembrance Day is unfortunately being clouded by arguments surrounding the white poppy, red poppy, Christmas lights on too early, etc. While all of these issues can be discussed (hopefully with civility) it is important we don't let them overshadow why we remember.
Pacifists. War supporters. Soldiers. We are all called on to Remember.
Beyond wearing a poppy or shedding a tear at a Remembrance Day service, what do we do to truly remember? Honour. Show gratitude.
This Remembrance Day, and every other day - live a true life. A life that doesn't trivialize what so many have sacrificed on our behalves.
Consider what a soldier might have wanted from the life they gave. Consider the regrets expressed on deathbeds. Yes, it is morbid - but war is grim, and we need to remember that deeply enough to cause change. Spend time with those you love. Real time. Sit down at the dinner table together. Enjoy the freedom to walk outside. No curfews. No armed soldiers on sidewalks. Take time, every day, to appreciate living in a peaceful country. Educate yourself on what war was like for your family members who lived through wars past. Rations. Children shipped away from mothers to "safe zones". Talk to a family with someone in service now. What do soldiers need from us? Letters? Care packages? Do families left behind need support? Beyond our peaceful borders, there are many war zones. Support a trusted charity helping those in refugee camps. Refugee camps filled with children, the elderly, and men and women without the opportunity to work, grow food, or create a life for themselves.
There are so many ways to live a life that Remembers. Let's spend less time arguing over poppies, when the Christmas season should begin or whether or not we agree with war - and focus that energy on living a life that honours the freedom we are fortunate enough to have.