I was told as a child that Remembrance Day is about honouring the veterans and how they fought for peace. Sadly I have come to learn that this is a convenient mythology told to us so we can feel better about our history and not truly learn from it. It helps to remember that the 20th century saw some of the worst human rights violations and large-scale wars in human history. Clearly we are not remembering enough and learning enough from our past.
Here is a short list of some of the things that we should be remembering, and I’m hoping you the reader will contribute to this list so that we can have a true accounting of Remembrance Day.
We should remember
- The wastage of millions of lives from both our side and the “other” side on world wars that were less about peace and more because of short-sighted thinking and imperialist foreign policies.
- The genocides in Germany, Rwanda, Cambodia, Sudan, China…and many nations where often our forefathers have contributed to the problem.
- That we know more about destroying countries than we do about building them so that fundamentalism does not take root.
What else do you think we should remember?