I am pacifist. That said, I do believe there have been a few wars that needed to be fought…and many that did not. So, what can I do to “remember”?
It seems that for most, Remembrance Day is about donating the few cents left in your wallet to get a poppy, wearing said poppy until it falls off somewhere, maybe going to a Remembrance Day Ceremony of some kind (but probably not), posting Facebook memes about Remembrance Day, and, most recently, thanks to those Facebook memes, NOT putting up your Christmas decorations until after November 11th. Though there is nothing wrong with these things, they do leave me wondering how we can make remembering more meaningful, especially for those who have not been directly touched by war.
How do we make Remembrance Day more meaningful?
Here are my thoughts.
- If you truly believe that stores and malls should not put up Christmas décor until after Nov 11th, contact them directly and ask your friends to do the same. Posting this request to the companies’ Facebook pages or directing a tweet at them can be quite effective because they are large public platforms, so it puts the pressure on. Your personal Facebook meme is just going to make your Christmas loving friends feel bad…and they will still decorate early because…they love it.
- When you see a veteran selling poppies, donate more than the token toonie. Plan for it. Write a cheque. Take some extra cash out of the bank and stuff it into that box. Or just commit to donating to one of the many charities set up for veterans, like this one: Vets Canada …Further Considerations
- Pressure your government (at all levels) to do more for our veterans. Do we need better supports put in place? Better financial aid and more interventions for physical and mental health issues? I wish I had a link to share, but could not find anything specific to this.
- Support people, regardless of their religious beliefs or country of origin, who are fleeing from war in their countries. Simply put, support refugees coming to Canada. Opportunities to Help Refugees
- In addition to wearing a poppy, why not plant a tree for someone who has been impacted by war or that you are specifically remembering this Remembrance Day. Why not grow a memorial forest? https://www.alivingtribute.ca
- Many wars have been fought over cultural or religious differences. Many wars and genocides have taken place because one race believed they were better than another. Stand up against racism in all its forms. Be a voice where others are silent. Stand up against white supremacy and even subtle forms of white privilege. Consider your own privilege and how that impacts the way you engage in life and how it impacts the way people of colour engage in life. Talk to your children about racism. How to Talk to White Kids About Racism
- When you think of someone that has been lost to the tragedy of war, declare this truth, “YOU ARE/WERE LOVED (insert there name here).” (Borrowed from “A Key to Extraordinary” by Natalie Lloyd.
Do you have any additional ideas to contribute?
What do you do to “remember”?