Sunday, November 11, 2007
It's easy to forget. Every year, fewer and fewer old men in perfectly turned-out uniforms brave the cold, gray weather that seems to descend on the cenotaph. Those that do make it are often enfeebled by age, by the ravages of time that never had a chance to wrap itself around comrades who never made it home.
They are the last witnesses of an event that shaped our modern world, of a turning point in history that could have just as easily landed us into the 20th century equivalent of the dark ages. They are ordinary folks who stepped forward to do the extraordinary, then came back home and built ordinary lives despite all they had been through.
Soon, we will lose this tenuous, precious connection to history. And remembrance will be all we have. History, so often forgotten in the rush to advance society, holds the lessons we need to better shape whatever awaits us. We often forget that a solid building starts with a foundation. If we forget what's underneath, we may as well be homeless.
Thank you seems inadequate, yet it is all we can offer these fading icons of our past, present and, one hopes, our future.
Your turn: We remember because...?
One last thing: Caption This will be posted tomorrow. I'm not feeling particularly frivolous today.