Volume 91, Issue 41

Tuesday, November 11, 1997



Flanders forgotton

Lest we forget.

A typical modern sentiment on Remembrance Day for many, may have originated from grade school teachers who made their students memorize Canadian John McCrae's infamous poem In Flanders Fields.

But what does today mean to you and to this generation – which is so far removed from the end of World Wars?

Remembrance Day is a time when many Generation Xers might wear a poppy on their lapel to show awareness and contribute to the Royal Canadian Legion. A time when students perhaps pause briefly and think about what it might have been like for those who contributed to the war effort. But beyond this, the unavoidable feeling of not being able to relate to such an experience is often times superimposed on these gestures.

After all, it has been almost 80 years since the original celebration of armistice took place and most of what we know about the battles fought by soldiers in the Great War have only been read about in history books. History majors excluded, our generation is unaware of the true origins and reasons for this celebration and thus, inevitably, its traditional significance is lost.

But does this mean we might as well not bother trying to understand what this day is all about? Absolutely not. Like all things, the significance of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month has evolved – but the importance is not lost.

While some may choose to commemorate the day by reflecting on the bravery, sacrifice and death of soldiers, others may see it as an opportunity to celebrate peace and freedom. The important thing is that people take the time to recognize it.

Recognizing the peace we enjoy is a positive way for people of this generation to remember those who have lost their lives in the past. We don't know the experience of war, like the veterans, but we do know the greatness of peace. To be able to live, learn and thrive in a peaceful country is a gift – and if nothing else, remember that today.

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazed@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997