Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Weekend of Remembrance

The Remembrance Day holiday has always held significance for me. Not only because it happens to be my birthday ... but the significance it holds to honor those who served in the wars that have allowed us to live a life of freedom and peace.

This past weekend, my Middle Son suggested that we watch "Pacific" - a mini series about the war fought against Japan during the Second World War.

My knowledge of history is an embarrassment. I know only the most basic of facts. I remember more when it touches me in some way by way of a family member or friend who relays their personal experience. Most of my knowledge comes by way of a work of fiction, based on fact.

We started watching "Pacific" yesterday. Each episode is preceded by seeing and hearing the veterans of that war speaking of their personal experience. You then watch the actors portray one small facet of a monumental amount of history.

We took a break from the series and I turned on the History channel. They were airing the series "D Day to Victory" which depicted the war near Germany. Soldiers fighting a different enemy during the same time frame.

Each series retold our world's history from a personal and factual vantage point. I quite possibly retained more knowledge this past weekend, than I have all of the years prior.

Yet once again, it is the personal story that touches me the deepest. The uncle of a very good friend of mine died (just over) two months before the Victory in Europe. He wrote letters to his family throughout his year of basic training and over three months overseas. These letters are a cherished memory and a vital piece of their family's history.

I had the privilege of helping my friend compile her family history and I still have a copy of the completed book. This weekend, I reread her uncle's chapter. The more I learn, the more I can appreciate his words and all that was written between the lines.

This weekend, I personally honored those who served for our country. I appreciated how close my dad came to being one of those who went overseas. He was still in basic training when the war in Europe was won. He volunteered for duty to serve in the war against Japan, in the Pacific. Thankfully, that war ended before Dad was asked to serve.

History. A small twist of fate that can make all the difference in the world to one family. It puts our small day-to-day crisises into perspective, when you look at the big picture.

We all continue to wage our own personal battles within our lives. Big or small, those battles change our world. One day at a time.

This weekend I appreciated how fortunate I am, to live in a world where my biggest worries are those that time, patience and financial security can remedy.

It has been a weekend of honoring those that have paved the way to the life which we take for granted today. It has been a weekend to remember.

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