On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, during the 11th month, we gather to remember the sacrifices of those who once served and continue to serve their country today.
Those who lost their lives in service to their country, or in service to their fellow human beings, have rightly, earned an exalted status on occasions like this. No less celebrated are those who escaped with their lives, yet sacrificed their minds, their youth, or their bodies to a cause greater than themselves.
Those fortunate enough 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 and we have to remember the atrocities of war so we can educate younger generations.
We must remember history so that the mistakes of the past are not repeated. The world cannot survive another global conflict. Technology has advanced, weapons are more sophisticated and the potential for destruction and death is greater than ever before.
This mutually assured destruction kept the world from annihilation during the Cold War, and as technology has advanced greatly since the late 1980s, this threat of doom is even more ominous today.
That helps to maintain some global stability, for the most part, but the only way to truly ensure that wars become a relic of the past is to continue to work for peace.
That does not mean rewriting or denigrating the sacrifices of the past. On the contrary, those sacrifices should be celebrated and stories should be told to drive the point home that war is never the answer.
This also means promoting education, not only among younger generations but all ages, especially as wars become events from a very distant past.
And in the meantime, the sabre-rattlers and war mongers need to understand there is massive worldwide opposition to war, to death and destruction, and the world will not tolerate war as a final option.
That means mobilizing against war by voting for politicians who oppose war, publicly protesting against war and getting friends, neighbours and families motivated for peace.
By thinking globally and acting locally, peace will win, and hopefully, war will become an ancient relic of an uncivilized past.
But is up to us to remember so that peace always wins.