Because the memory of war isn’t mine.
And that’s what I remember.
It wasn’t until I started attending elementary school that I went to my first Remembrance Day ceremony. It wasn’t even on Remembrance Day itself because school is closed on for the statutory holiday.
I didn’t know about the wars–the ones that had passed and the ones that were still going on. I didn’t know why a poppy had been pinned to my shirt, or why it was important.
For a long time I felt that way. I would pin the flower given to me and listen to the words and try to understand, and fail every single time.
This isn’t to say I truly understand now. I know I still don’t. For every article I read and story I hear and picture I see is a reminder that I don’t truly understand.
And so when November 11 rolls around every year, I think about the wars, and thank the souls of those who have the memory of the World Wars that I don’t have those same memories. I think about people who are struggling with war right now, and I can’t empathize.
I am ignorant. I don’t understand. And that is what I remember.
I remember that even though I don’t know war, because fought and died so I don’t have these memories.
I remember that even though I can’t understand what’s going on on the other side of the world, it still is happening.
I remember that even though the memory isn’t mine, it belongs to someone else, someone suffering right now, and they shouldn’t be forgotten.
I remember the unknown memory, and pray that one day, November 11 will be a day to do just that–remember a memory that doesn’t belong to anyone.