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Pickle Me This

November 11, 2007


In memory of my grandfathers, both of whom passed away this year, I’ve decided to cease my inner-struggle with Remembrance Day. For this day only, I will set aside my ambivalence between honouring vets of “the last good war” and my utter rejection of values which perpetuate modern-day warfare. Even though my fervent belief is that the greatest honour we could bestow upon our war dead would be to not go to war anymore; didn’t anyone else get that message from the entire twentieth century?

But I’ve read Marion Murray’s article on losing her son in Afghanistan, Christopher Hitchens’ story on the death of a soldier in Iraq, and I’ve realized my own inner-struggle does nothing to undercut the sadness of these situations. That my inner-struggle is meaningless in the face of reality, which is something I expect both my grandfathers would have told me. And so today I will remember, without condition. Except perhaps the hope that one day we will have learned something from all of this.

Pictured here is my great-grandfather’s grave in Belgium. He was killed in action in 1916.

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