I posted a version of this two years ago. My feelings haven’t changed.
What I remember on Remembrance Day:
1. I honour he sacrifices of life and limb and more by soldiers fighting to maintain freedom and oppose tyranny. War is hell, and these soldiers were required to endure hell for the better good. I don’t think that we can begin to understand the sacrifice, even of those who survived and came home.
2. I honour the freedom for which they fought. For all of us to continue to practise, uphold and defend that freedom in our daily lives is possibly the greatest honour we can give to fallen and surviving soldiers. If their sacrifice was in the name of defending freedom, we have a responsibility to carry that freedom, buy voting, protecting the integrity of the country and being involved. Apathy emerges in a particularly bad light on Remembrance Day.
3. I honour peace. To remember the hell of war is to try and spare the current and future generations from having to suffer the same sacrifices. While a soldier can feel honour and pride in having defended his/her country, I don’t think any would want the same visited on today’s children if it can be avoided. Sometimes it can’t be, which is why sacrifices are necessary. But in the name of what they’ve endured, we must strive to make future sacrifices unnecessary.
I feel that to honour #1 without considering #2 and #3 is somewhat hollow. Sincere respect involves allowing our understanding to have influence outside of a single day.