This Remembrance Day we mark 100 years since the end of the First World War. I have been fortunate enough to not live through war in the places I have lived, yet there are wars being fought right now in places I will never see. The closest I have come to war, is saying goodbye to my dad when he left for his first tour in Iraq. I was ten, and he came back.
This past Thursday, November 8th, I went to the ceremony at the cenotaph to honour the indigenous peoples of Canada who have served in the military and remember those who lost their lives to protect Canada’s freedoms. I attended the feast that followed at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre and heard testimony from veterans about their experiences serving in the Canadian Forces, and their treatment on returning home. Their stories are not mine to share, but I learned a lot.
On November 11th we remember all veterans who have served and given their lives in conflicts around the world, many making the ultimate sacrifice. We also pray for those who are still serving.
I find myself wondering why, after 100 years since World War I, are there still wars being fought? Can humanity not learn that ultimately there are no winners in war? Even the victors see pain and death. War is evil.
“So, what do we do? We are called to fight evil, but we are also called to know how to fight it. Evil is not effectively resisted with hatred and with guns. Evil cannot be defeated with evil, negation with negation, terror with terror, missile with missile. The process of negation must be reversed. Only affirmation can overcome negation. Evil can be battled only by good. Hatred can be laid to rest only by love. The only response to evil that has ever worked is the response of Jesus — and that was, to lead a life of love right to and through the end. It means to visit the sick, give to the poor, and help those in need.” — the words of The Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool on November 4th at Christ Church Cathedral.
We remember to never forget the cost. The same is true of the Eucharist, we remember to never forget what God is doing in Jesus then, now and in the age to come.