Reflections: … The Silence Goes On


George Rowe
 
At the end of my message during the Remembrance Day Service I challenged you with the statement: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, as a proud Canadian today, let me implore you…Never Forget to Remember.
 
How are we doing? The canon fire, the sound of Amazing Grace coming through the wind-driven bagpipes, the singing of Oh Canada by thousands of school children across this great nation are now silent relative to the November 11 ceremonies. The sound of marching feet, the crisp snap of salutes, poppies and ceremonial wreaths are now being pushed back into our sub-consciousness as we ready ourselves for Christmas. 
 
It is a natural instinct of the human psyche to move forward and, while we continue to learn from the past, we anticipate the future with great optimism and hope. The horrors and the atrocities and the heartbreak of yesterday’s wars should always be a reminder that it can happen again. Even as I write this article an all-out war is pending between Israel and Hamas which could affect and unsettle the whole of the Middle East. The media has already shown some graphic pictures of dead children, the broken bodies of civilians and the statistics of lost soldiers. We need to pray for a quick and peaceful resolution to this pending conflict.
 
As I reflect upon November 11 we should be asking ourselves some very important questions. Even in this great country do we have a heightened sense of security? Are we a much stronger community today as a result of taking the time to reflect during the Remembrance Day ceremony? Do we feel closer to our families today or see our neighbour from a different perspective? Do we feel better about ourselves? 
 
“…the silence goes on…” for the thousands who gave their lives so we might live in a free world. This silence is expressed in the poem In Flanders Fields. In the second verse Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae expresses it this way: “We are the dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow. Loved and were loved, and now we lie in Flanders Field.” While their voices are silent, that for which they died can still be realized through us who still remember. “Take up our quarrel with the foe: to you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high. If you break faith with us who die, we will not sleep, though poppies grown in Flanders Field.” 
 
The Bible says that the day will come when He will cause “…wars to end throughout the earth.” (Psalm 46:9) but until that happens we must “Never Forget to Remember.” As we hold the torch remember also that the sun is always shining.