We Remember

Picture of Poppies
Today we took a moment to
remember all the men and women who have sacrificed to make our freedom
possible. We remember the military men and women who lost their lives,
the people who sacrificed at home and all of the people still affected
by war and its horrible consequences today. Remembrance day is a somber
day and I always get a little melancholy just thinking about it.


I
am profoundly and especially grateful to the allied nations who fought
so that my grandparents could live. My grandparents on my father's side
were both Auschwitz survivors. So today I wear my poppy with pride and
every day I think about the people who give so much for what they
believe in. To all the people serving their country, you have my best
wishes for peace and to come home safely. For the
families
that have lost people in wars, you have my deepest condolences and my
thanks for their service. To all those affected by war, I fervently
wish for peace. But wishing does not make it so.

One can not
help but notice that we have allowed atrocities to continue in our
names. It may not be in the news as much, but there is still a genocide
in Darfur. The CBC has an overview of the conflict here
(of course, the last update was July of this year... and yes, it's
still going on).Let's remember. We say "Never Again", and yet...
Yesterday Huffington Post carried a story by Ashley Rindsberg, "You and Khartoum: Why Darfur is Our Problem". Why should a story like that one even need
to be written? Of course Darfur is our problem! And not just because
there may be ties between Sudan and Al-Qaeda or Iran. It's our problem
because we made a promise when we said "Never Again". The United Nations refuses to call it what it is. Genocide is happening under our watch.

It's not only happening in Darfur. This past week, Johann Hari published a piece in The Independent, "How We Fuel Africa's Bloodiest War".
It is illuminating. Much like what is now happening in Sudan, we failed
to act to help the people of Rwanda and the repercussions of that
failure are still being felt by the people in the Congo. It's
disheartening to see so many unfulfilled promises. On the day after the
70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, it is more important than ever to
mean it when we say "Never Again".

My
daughter is too young to understand Remembrance Day. War is out of the
realm of her experience, but I can not help but think of all the
children her age, all the children period, for whom that is not the
case. As of today, the Congo (according to Reuters, Africa) has earned
the title of "Worst Place for Children".
I could not let today go by without imparting some lesson for my
daughter. We had the play group today (my Mommy Group) and we read "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae.
We also read "Can You Say Peace?" by Karen Katz.
The kids and adults alike had fun trying to say "peace" in other
languages. We had a minute of silence at 11:00, or at least, as silent
as you can get with a group of 2 year olds. We talked about poppies and
one of the kids even wore a poppy.

What
do you do for Remembrance Day with your toddler? How much do you tell
your child about war? I'd love to hear about your experiences.

The above poppy photo, "Picture of Poppies" was taken by Ian Britton, FreeFoto.com.

The original, complete (and properly formatted) version of this post (with additional links) can be found at Michelle's Blog.

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