Yesterday was November 11, Remembrance Day. It's a time when everyone thinks back and thanks the soldiers who gave their lives. It began initially after WWI and continues to this day not only to commemorate the lives of the fallen but the survivors. What's unfortunate is that there have been many wars since and I'm sure that many of those soldiers believed they were fighting for peace. Peace may still be a long time from now.
Whenever I think about Remembrance Day I think about my grandfather. (Both of my grandfathers were in WWII but my paternal grandfather passed away before I was born.) I only knew my maternal grandfather for a short time but the time I do remember was special. When I was a little older I learned more about him. He was a top sniper and participated in some of the worst known battles. I think about what it must have done to him, to be forced to kill strangers, strangers with families. Strangers with lives and dreams, never being fulfilled because he was forced to take their lives. It was kill or be killed.
I knew him as a sweet man with a generous nature and infinite compassion. I can't imagine how he must have felt. He left behind poetry he had written during the war and I was fortunate enough to see some of it. Written in neat cursive he recalls moments, some of them heart warming and others heart breaking. In one poem he writes about witnessing his best friend dying in front of him. War is a dirty, horrible thing.
On Remembrance Day I think about everyone who has ever sacrificed to protect their loved ones and I think about the day war is a thing of the past. I hope that happens sooner rather than later.
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