Editorial: Lest we forget

There are some words and phrases, once very common, that our younger generations are already forgetting.

‘Rotary phone’ is likely to generate some serious blank looks if you mention one to anyone under 30. Or maybe try talking to a teenager about a CD.

Unfortunately, war isn’t on that list of archaic phrases. War has never gone away, not only in real life but in our entertainment. We perpetuate it through novels, movies, television, video games and more.

RELATED: First World War letters put a human face on the war that shaped us as a nation

RELATED: Welcome to the state of perpetual war

In a way, that’s a good thing. While we tend to glorify war, the other side of the coin is never forgetting the travesties that war brings upon us — and that’s the part that should never be forgotten.

War still fills our headlines daily and the list of Canada’s war dead grows year by year, victims of both peacekeeping actions and wars. And while the faces of the old veterans may become memories, new veterans of new conflicts are taking their place.

And that is where Remembrance Day comes in. It’s a day to remember those that were — and still are — being lost to war in defence of the freedoms and the lifestyle we enjoy.

We’re very lucky in Canada. Those men and women who answer the call and travel overseas both to fight in wars and on peacekeeping missions are part of the reason wars don’t touch Canadian soil.

Their bravery and sacrifice ensure that we at home don’t suffer the depredations that those living in war-torn countries like Syria experience daily.

Remembrance Day allows us to pay tribute to all those men and women, past and present, living and dead, who have given of themselves to not only protect the rights and freedoms we enjoy but also to shield many of the world’s peoples from those who would take their freedom.

It’s fitting that the focus of Remembrance Day is not glorifying war, but remembering the loss and horror in a prayer for peace.

The warning that greets visitors passing through the gates of the Auschwitz prison camp, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” remains true today.

When it comes to war, humanity is still repeating its mistakes, and we’re not likely to stop anytime soon. Still, it’s nice to imagine a world where the concept of war is as foreign to our youth as spinning the dial on a phone.

Just Posted

Oak Bay High students do their best for COVID-19 Tour de Rock

Cops for Cancer riders set finish a different kind of Tour de Rock

Happy Buddha pot shop going ahead, but with a new name

Sidney reverses position, will allow town’s first cannabis retailer to set up shop downtown

Comox Valley Child Development Association introduces Telethon ambassador

Leo Larmand — clad in a headband and multi-colored shorts, standing atop… Continue reading

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

One in custody after assault, barricade in Esquimalt Road residence

Victoria police closed down portion of the road Wednesday night during incident

Long-time Central Saanich councillor named NDP candidate for Saanich North and the Islands

King, who joins election campaign one week after its start, hopes to unseat Adam Olsen

Nanaimo RCMP investigating suspicious car fire in hospital area

Investigators believe vehicle on Thunderbird Drive was set alight with accelerant

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read