Tony Campolo is one of my favourite authors about social justice and the role Jesus-followers should play in achieving justice for all.
He talks about the church and Jesus-followers being very good at being the ambulances of society. That when an accident [disaster] happens the church is very good at responding to the crisis and working hard to repair the damage. Think Salvation Army, Mennonite Central Committee or many others. He says this is great and needs to continue, however, maybe we should be ALSO focusing on how we can have less accidents in the first place.
Instead of waiting for the next human crisis to happen and then responding to it, maybe we should be spending some time finding ways to prevent these human tragedies from happening at all.
Makes complete sense to me.
As I have considered Remembrance Day this morning, I was reminded of this quote from Tony. I think it applies.
Today We Remember
Today we remember and thank all those who fought for their sacrifice and bravery. And there are many.
The war in Afghanistan and several other military missions ensured the ranks of Canadian veterans have been refreshed. Today, I want to honour not only the sacrifices written in history books, but of the recent past and present.
I’m sorry, but I think it strange that we honour and revere veterans from WWI and WWII while treating our returning soldiers from Afghanistan and the Middle East so poorly. I’m not saying we should ignore nor dismiss veterans from long ago. Certainly not! But we should not be ignoring and dismissing our living veterans either. Poor wages, no help with PTSD from the fallout of seeing horrible depravity and removal of benefits for those discharged because of physical injuries is a gross injustice.
Don't get me wrong, war is STUPID.
There is no doubt that I am a pacifist. Growing up watching the Vietnam war every night on the news assured that. I think it is first and foremost an admission of failure. We failed to resolve our differences.
However, if Canada is going to send our young men and women into battle, these soldiers deserve my[and your] full support, honour and prayers whether I believe they should be there or not. And they deserve my support, honour, prayers and advocacy when they return scarred forever by what they have experienced.
About More than Honouring Memory
Remembrance Day, while aptly named, should ask of us a deeper commitment than simply honoring our veterans in our memory. We must also think deeply about the horror and human cost of the wars that took so many from us.
“Lest we forget” is a phrase that not only calls us to remember our veterans for their sacrifice. It exhorts us to avoid repeating history’s tragedies. This Remembrance Day we offer our gratitude. But we also recommit to justice, peace and understanding in hopes that none will be called to make this sacrifice again.
We cannot take peace for granted.
We have a responsibility to work for peace every day of the year and there were things everyone could do. We need to keep working at it all year round.
It is very important that Remembrance Day, honouring our fallen soldiers, and appreciating their sacrifice continues. However, I do think that if we are to honour the memory of those who have died, it is important to look towards the future and ensure that we are very active in trying to ensure that nobody dies in war again.
Many Canadians died to bring war to an end forever. May they not have died in vain.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.