So why do we celebrate ‘Remembrance’ Sunday?
We remember those who died in senseless slaughter.
We remember those who fought for our freedom, but we do not celebrate war.
(U.S. World War I veteran Joseph Ambrose attends the dedication parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial holding the flag that covered the casket of his son, who was killed in the Korean War.)
On November 11th, each year since 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson first addressed
a mourning yet grateful nation recalling the sacrifices made and the countless numbers of
lives lost during World War I…
November 11th has become the day that we as a nation officially recognize our military personnel.
It was in 1926 that Congress voted to permanently and officially mark November 11th as a
national day of remembrance and recognition.
A national day we permanently set aside in order to pay tribute to our Veterans and
military personnel both former and current.
A day to mourn, a day to remember and a day of gratitude.
It is also the day that coincides with the marking of what our European kinsmen
observe as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day.
It is the day that will forever mark the ending of World War I.
Marked so because it was on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour in 1918
that the War officially ended.
World War I was a war that caused 40 million deaths of both military members and civilians…
leaving behind some 23 million people wounded.
Wounds that we now know, that for many, never healed as the scars remained both visible
as well as hidden and internal for years to come.
World War I was the war that was hailed as being the war to end all wars…
And yet it would only be a short decade later that the world would come together
again in open hostilities.
Our nation officially changed the name of Armistice Day to Veteran’s day in 1954.
And so as our Scottish friend The Wee Flea, David Roberston, so aptly reminds us…
this 11th day of this the 11th month, we gather together as free nations to recall
the sacrifices made for our freedoms by generations who went before us.
We do not celebrate, but rather we remember and we mourn.
We mourn the lives taken far too soon.
David goes on…
“It is also fitting to remember our history.
In a postmodern, dumbed-down, self-absorbed culture such as ours,
we both forget our history and we far too often end up believing a fake historical narrative –
one that just happens to suit our current feelings and views.
Cambridge University students,
supposedly the elite of our educational system,
recently voted not to support the wearing of poppies and Remembrance Day,
because they ‘glorified war’.
There are many things that glorify war,
but remembering the Fallen in previous wars is not one of those things.
Nor is it wrong to particularly remember the dead from your own country –
they, after all, are the ones who died so that we can have the freedom we have today.”
So on this day, the 11th day of this 11th month,
may we mark this day with grateful hearts…
remembering those who have sacrificed so very much for each of us…no matter our
beliefs, our color, our politics or our status in life…we are free…
this much we know.
Come and see what the LORD has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
-Psalm 46:8-10 NIV