I was thinking about this day and all it means a lot this week. Mostly because the high school kids I work with have answered with surprise when I’ve mentioned today is an international holiday. But also because today works out to be 11-11-11, and the last time we had this date, we had no need to remember anything.
100 years seems so long, except for when it doesn’t. Perhaps the time seems more distant because I live in the U.S., where history comes to be forgotten.
But 100 years ago, my grandfather was 9. The War to End All Wars was still a few years from beginning. Airplanes were brand new inventions, and the great American love affair with the car was in its infancy.
And perhaps this anniversary of the signing of the treaty that ended the fighting in Europe stands out more because the kids I work with have a difficult time keeping the first and second world wars correctly ordered. Or maybe it’s the fact that we talk so much and for so long about the importance of our freedoms in this country, but seem to find remembering the people who have fought for longer than 5 years. We seem unable to keep track of the conflicts we’ve been involved with in the intervening years from the first Armistice Day, much less the people.
So this year, I’m sharing my remembrance. If you’ve ever served and fought for the U.S., or any country, thank you. My hope is that you’ve helped shape this world to become more of a place where we will no longer need to fight. But if we do get to a place without armed forces, I hope we always remember.