On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, during the 11th month, we gather to remember the sacrifices of those who served and continue to serve their country.
Those who lost their lives in service to their country, or to their fellow human-beings, have rightly earned an exalted status on occasions like this. No less celebrated are those who sacrificed their minds, their limbs, or their bodies to a cause greater than themselves.
Those fortunate to return alive from combat or service understandably feel an unspoken obligation to their fallen comrades to keep their memories alive.
Those outside the military ranks also remember. We remember because we must. We cannot allow their sacrifices to fade from memory, we have to remember the atrocities of war, and we have to educate younger generations.
We must remember history so that it is not repeated. The world cannot afford another global conflict; our planet cannot withstand the ecological footprint, the world economy is too integrated, and the colossal loss of life, property and potential is too great to fathom.
Considering the proto-fascist venom attempting to hi-jack political discourse around the world, this is a perfect time to heed the lessons of the past, particularly those which plunged the world into World War II.
Racism, classicism and autocracy with a contemporary face are still repugnant even if they are spewed by beautiful people with social media savvy. Make no mistake; this is the same political poison which plunged the world into death and destruction in the middle of the 20th century.
Because of the rise of this bloodless rhetoric, it is incumbent on people to learn about the causes of the Second World War. Once they do, it will be abundantly clear how current far right-wing movements, built on foundations of extreme nationalism, are the same soulless demagoguery they tried to sell in the 1930s and ‘40s.
These are the same ruinous beliefs which killed millions and displaced millions more around the globe, which destroyed countries, which ripped families and communities apart, and whose impact was so deep, it is still felt today.
These are the ideals of selfish greed, division, distrust, senseless violence, and homicidal racial hatred. No good can come from them, no good ever has, no good ever will.
This damaging politics needs to be remembered but also marginalized back to where it was after World War II. It has been reignited because people forgot. Now it is time to remember.