Remembering the who’s and why’s

Is Remembrance Day outdated? Perhaps we should change it to Day of Peace.

It was good to see so many people turn out for the Remembrance Day service in Ashcroft this year, considering how ugly the weather was. We certainly are spoiled “down here” with moderate temperatures late into the season. I certainly am, at least.  I haven’t had to kneel in the snow to take pictures on Nov. 11 since I left the north country.

However, it was sad to see how many fewer of our veterans were at the service this year. Each year we lose a few more. They show us a tangible side of war that most of us will hopefully never have to experience.

But they are not the only reason for us to attend the services on Nov. 11.

Before I left the house on Sunday, I was pondering the name we’ve given to Nov. 11. Armistice Day is a bit old-fashioned and the word is hardly recognized in today’s language. Remembrance Day, while self-explanatory once it’s been explained what we are to remember, is not the sole reason for observing the day

We remember the sacrifices made by our veterans, and we also remember why.

Forgive me as I think out loud – I do not mean to propose changing Remembrance Day to anything else, but I was thinking that Democracy Day might be an appropriate name, or Day of Peace. You see, I still haven’t given up on World Peace in my lifetime. Anything is possible. Just as war takes time to build, so does peace, I suppose.

But until then, I congratulate our local Legion members and veterans for bringing their message into the schools each year, explaining to the students why we hold Remembrance Day services each year, and why men and women answer their country’s call to war. Perhaps one day the world will raise a generation of children who work together instead of against each other.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” said George Santayana, Spanish philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist.

I guess we need to remember harder, because we’re still repeating our mistakes. Remembrance Day will be with us for a little while longer.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal