Has anybody else noticed how noisy the world is these days? Cars and trains and voices. Video feeds and electronic games. Even at home, alone, with the sound off, we are bombarded with the voices of others–social media, blog posts, an endless ticker tape of news.
And what news it is. Troops sent to Iraq. Murder in Palestine. Flare ups on the borders of countries long suffering animosity.
Today is Veterans Day. A day to celebrate the men and women who have served for their countries. A day to thank them all for stepping forward and being willing to risk their lives.
It is also a day to remember the fallen. The hundreds of thousands of men and women who have died in service to their countries. Today marks the anniversary of the cessation of hostilities of World War I–the armistice signed on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month–still less than a hundred years ago.
In Britain, the holiday is called Remembrance Day and on Sunday, my husband–an English veteran of the first Gulf War, as well as the conflict in Northern Ireland–attended the Remembrance Sunday parade and services in his home town. He didn’t wear his medals and no one thanked him for his service. He was there in remembrance of his grandmother’s four brothers who died during World War I.
Let us honor the men and women who live. Buy them coffee. Give up your first class seat on a plane. Shake a hand and be grateful.
But also, let’s take a moment of silence in this noisy, noisy world to remember. History matters because it is not so far out of reach–one generation, two–and because the men and women who serve in 2014 deserve not just to be remembered today, but by the contemporaries of their children and grandchildren. Today, we are creating history, so let’s make our actions worth remembering.