100 years is a lot of time. It is longer than most lifetimes. It is long enough to build and erase cultures. It is long enough for the world to change.
100 years is not a lot of time. It is too short a time to forget. It isn’t long enough to understand our world. It isn’t long enough to understand each other.
This Sunday, November 11th marks the 100th anniversary of the end of hostilities of World War I. In Canada, plastic poppies have been blooming on lapels across the nation to show that we do remember the War to End All Wars. We also remember the wars that came after. And the conflicts we don’t call wars any more.
More importantly we remember those who fought them. They fought for us. They fight for us. They fight for others, too. They fight for good. We remember the fighters and their fights.
This will be the 99th Remembrance Day. This will be the 99th time we lay wreaths on cenotaphs. This will be the 99th day we add names to the list of the remembered. This will be the 99th time we mark the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month with our silence.
Silence so you can hear the rain. Silence so you can hear people nervously scuffing their feet. Silence so that even children know something is happening. Silence so loud you can’t hear a thing.
In Canada we will mark the occasion on Sunday. We will have Monday off. We will return on Tuesday.
It’ll only be a short while. We’ll be back before long.