Remembrance Day

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During the early years of the last century, the great poet and philosopher George Santayana wrote that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” He also wrote that “only the dead have seen the end of war.”  A century later his words continue to ring in the ears of those who see in current events the same cycle repeated again and again.

Ninety-five years ago, the bloodiest war the world had ever seen ended with the defeat of Germany and the signing of the treaty of Versailles.  On every eleventh day of the eleventh month since then, the victors of this first World War have paused to remember the millions who spilled their blood in that conflagration.  They call it Remembrance Day and wear a poppy to symbolize the sacrifice of so many of their beloved fathers, sons and brothers.  In the United States we honor our veterans on this same date, in part because of the loss of American  lives in the “Great” war.

And how did humanity respond to the catastrophe of this world war?  Less than twenty years later the world was again at war, this time with incomprehensible loss of life.  Pure evil arose and spawned genocide perpetrated upon the Jewish people, gypsies, Catholics and others.  Hitler and his cabal killed tens of millions.  To comprehend the magnitude of the loss of life, try counting to one thousand. I’ll bet that most of us would tire and quit before getting even close.

Today, the seeds of the next world conflict are growing throughout the world.  Have we learned anything from history?  Are we condemned to repeat it?  Left to its own devices, evil flourishes.

God does not want us to be passive in the face of these events.  We must pray that our leaders will show wisdom and courage in facing unrest and danger in the world.  We are obligated to remind those leaders of their responsibility to ensure that justice will be the result. We should also pray that hearts will be converted to the love of God.

Remembrance is not enough.  For our sake and for our children and their children, we cannot be silent.

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4 Responses to Remembrance Day

  1. Lee says:

    Woodrow Wilson in honor of Veterans Day:
    “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
    Pope Francis said:
    Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good… Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.
    This is our goal as true believers in faith and our fortitude should be one where we expend all means to combat the evils that would threaten our inner most peace and the true meaning of Life, Love, Liberty, The Pursuit of Happiness, and the Love of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

  2. Nancy Novicki says:

    Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!

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