I’m a big fan of remembering our past to keep us from repeating our mistakes, and the keeping of armistice day is particularly important to my mind. When we look back at human history and the loss of human life that came from both World Wars, and war in general, it’s hard to comprehend any justification sufficient enough to bring us to the brink of such violence again.
And yet, I look at the world around me and it saddens me to see how close we are today to a violent clashing between world powers, and how much destruction it could bring us today. As a species we seem to have excelled in the technology to destroy ourselves, perfected it in a manner of speaking. Today we have the power to end life on this earth over the minor, trifling disputes that seem all together important, important enough to demonize and otherize those not like us, those who believe differently or look different or whatever reason we might give.
Even just within the country I call home, I have never in my life seen us so divided, so willing to level blame and accusations without consideration, even without fact in many cases. Our technology allows us to spread lies as if they are truth in a heartbeat around the world. It provides us glimpses of who people are when they are presenting their worst side, but never when their better selves are on display.
I sometimes feel as if war is inevitable now. As if we are about to toss all of the lessons of years past, disregard the humanity of the “other side” and fall headlong into a bloody, terrible conflict that will not end until we have once again grown weary of the bloodshed.
But, sometimes, there is hope. Sometimes someone reminds me that humanity is not yet lost. Sometimes we put down our guns and our flags and our pride to remember what has gone before.
Now, if only we could vow to keep that peace beyond a single holiday.