EDINBURGH, United Kingdom – On Nov. 11th, 1918, the armistice, or truce that ended the first World War, came into action and the world was at peace once again, if only for a short while.
Since 1918, people across the world, on the 11th of November, remember the soldiers who gave their lives to fight in the war.
Last year, the issue of remembrance was brought up very clearly to me. I was heading to a remembrance service and I overheard a boy about my age say, “Why should I remember them? It doesn’t have anything to do with me.”
As a historian, it completely disgusts me that he would say such a thing. But being the same age, it worries me that this opinion of remembrance will continue in years to come.
It worries me that in 20 or 30 years, Armistice Day will be forgotten and not cared about. The question that I ask myself is, why is it that this generation is beginning to become less respectful of the people who saved our lives?
Could it be that parents of this generation are teaching their children not to bother? Could it be that the rise of technology has simply made this generation too preoccupied with games to attend a service?
I am shocked that I am asking myself these questions. I shouldn’t need to be asking them.
The Edinburgh Stone of Remembrance on Remembrance Sunday. (Felicity Rodger/YJI)
It became evident that the answer to these questions may, however, be a resounding yes. I attended a service at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on Sunday to commemorate Remembrance Day, which we observe here on the Sunday close to Armistice Day. On both days, there is a moment of silence at 11 a.m.
Although there was a huge gathering, only a handful of young people my age and under bothered to turn up.
During that service, I began to think about what I had overheard a year ago, Why should we remember them?
But remembering our servicemen is the least we can do in the present day. Without them in WWI, I would probably be writing this in German. Actually, I probably wouldn’t be writing this at all.
In WWII, without the brave men and women who gave their time, and even their lives, to fight, again, Britain would most certainly have fallen to Germany under Hitler’s regime.
To any young person who may be reading this today, I have a message for you:
On Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015 at 11 a.m., whatever you are doing, remember the people who came before you. They could be past generations of your family who fought in any war, or it could be the millions of men and women who courageously gave their lives for your country.
May we be thankful that a majority of the world has peace and may we pray that this peace will spread and no more blood be spilled.
Felicity Rodger is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.
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