LEST WE FORGET
This year marks the 93rd celebration of Remembrance Day across the British Commonwealth. The public gatherings at Cenotaphs across the country are part of what it means to be Canadian, and rather than celebrating a glorious triumph over our enemies, we commemorate it instead as a ritual vigil over the dead. The Last Post signals the close of the day, the minutes of silence pass by as a night watch guarding the remains of the fallen from harm, and the Reveille marks the dawn of a new day. And in the Christian tradition, the Reveille also offers the hope of resurrection and the reawakening of the dead and the living to share in God’s eternal kingdom. The red of the poppies, sometimes said to represent the red of British uniforms, can also represent the “red martyrdom” of violent death in God’s service.
With the passing of time, and the diversity of Canadian society, the history of the First and Second World Wars may have little poignancy for many people. In 2010, Canada lost its last Veteran from the First World War, in which 147 young people from St. Stephen’s served, and 26 died. We commemorate Remembrance Day, not only “Lest We Forget” all those who lost their lives in service to their country, but also lest we forget what the cost of war truly is, even for the victors – lest we forget the things which are truly important to us as humans, for generations passed as for generations to come.