I've struggled for years to define what Remembrance Day means to me. Like many, I don't generally support war. But defining "war" can be just as difficult as defining "peace." I suppose the point is I would always prefer a diplomatic solution - but wouldn't we all. Unfortunately, war and peace are far more complicated than that, and I cannot begin to understand all the facets and intricacies.
Ultimately, I think I'm coming to the conclusion that Remembrance Day doesn't have to be about war, or about peace. It can simply be an opportunity to reflect.
Many military "missions" aren't about fighting, rather about peacekeeping, or protecting, or preventing a larger fight. Even if they are "war" in the traditional sense, regardless of the macro-level political and social intricacies, I think the individuals who provide their service are doing it with a sense of courage, a sense of loyalty -- I think are are doing it for something. I value that.
I don't know much about my Papa during WWII, but I know that I couldn't have balloons in his house because the popping sound was too traumatic for him. I know that he met my Nana there, in Italy I think, while they were both serving, and that they married in three separate countries to make sure it was legal. I value that.
I know that without a father to do "dad" things with, my uncle let me camp in the backyard in his giant army tent. I know that I fretted for him when he went to Somalia for peacekeeping when I was eight years old. I know that it was beyond special to speak to him for one minute of his allotted five minute phone allowance while he was there. I value that.
I know that Hubby's Gramps, now in his 90s, takes immense pride in his service during WWII. He is so highly appreciated and respected and has achieved some incredible things in his lifetime. And he loves his family; he loves my Baby Fraggle. I value that.
This all means that Remembrance Day doesn't have to be about the wars, or the peace. For me, it can be about these people who have participated in something bigger than themselves, and how it has impacted them.
Lest we forget that.