The Remembrance Day is not only celebrated in Canada but in all Commonwealth members and takes place each November 11th honoring the army members that died in duty as well as the veterans. I’m not a specialist for that, so if you want to know more about its history there is plenty of information online. I know that not all of you reading support the army and might even be pacifists, but to me honoring humans that risk their lives believing in contributing safety and good for their beloved, their countries and their values and so on is very important to me. Nowadays most of the armies in the western world don’t oblige people to join the service but people choose it as a profession. They earn money, get trained and serve due to their own will. Some might do this because they see it as an honor to serve their country, while others see it as a career with good financial acknowledgement so they can provide their beloved or themselves a higher standard or follow a career which they wouldn’t have outside of the army. It is their chance to get out of poverty. I know different people serving or having served or serving in different armies, some Germans but also people of different European countries. Even one Chinese which I for a long time considered a good friend, who through me was able to explore the world and was so curious about and at the same time I learned a lot about the Chinese through him. For him serving the army was the only chance to go to university and earning good money coming out of a very poor family. I do understand and value all these different intentions and think that the Remembrance Day is important because no matter what is their drive and they provide us with safety.
Even though I’m still behind with blogging about lots of places I have been to on my Canada journey, I felt the need to share these photographs now and not make it all chronological. I normally don’t photograph people as much and prefer landscape and architectural photography, but really enjoyed to preserve these moments yesterday. So, this time and it might be the only time, this blog is all about humans taking part in the ceremony of Remembarance Day. The photos have been taken at the Victory Square in Vancouver Downtown. I did not editing apart from cropping to deliver as it was.
Just had a talk in the kitchen with my roommates and one of them said something like “We don’t need to remember, it’s been decades and we should move on forward without war”. I see where he is coming from and I’m sure not a supporter for war and it would be great to not need an army, but the human nature with different opinions and believes will always lead to conflicts on diverse levels and I’m aware that even the presence of an army makes each country ready to defend their values. Some don’t believe in the cause or the politics behind it, even I don’t do that all the time, still I’m very appreciate to live in a country where the army is not considered corrupt and provides a security feeling to me. That’s the luxury of living in the western world which others don’t have.
In my childhood and teenage years till my early twenties my dream was to become a police woman for a long time. I wanted to ensure safety, serve the good and justice was very meaningful to me and would have been proud wearing a uniform. It makes me sad each time seeing that others cannot respect someone in uniform not valuing the safety in which they grew up. But it wasn’t meant to be since I broke my wrist short before the sports test and they told me to come back in a year which made me give up on it. After that I also considered joining the military for university but that would have meant to serve for at least 12 years. Now being 32 years old, exactly 12 years after that thoughts, I would be “free” to live where and as I want to. I wasn’t sure by then if I would want to have a family but at least I wanted the option settle if I wanted to. Which is funny somehow, because now I’m 32 travel the world, don’t have a stable live nor a family but I’m still very happy with it. So, who knows what would have happened, war changes you and not only war, also serving your country as a police man will change you deep inside. Nowadays I’m not sure if I would have been mentally capable of dealing with what some of them go through.
Having that in mind, maybe you do understand even more why I’m deeply thankful for other risking their physical and mental health while I wasn’t capable of it. It’s hard to frame these words without leading to misunderstanding, but I hope you do understand my feelings about it. In this sense, I do believe that we should never forget our past and honor the lives of those who lost their lives, risked it or are still risking it putting themselves behind a bigger cause. Yesterday moved me and not only the parade and all people being part of it, but all the people joining it to honor them. Such a parade would not be the same in Germany with all its dark history and I know that lots of my German friends and family are pacifists and have prejudices about people serving.
Another part that impressed me was the diversity. Female, different nationalities, even religions seem to be integrated and respected in the Canadian military as well as the Canadian society. This country is so diverse and inclusive on all levels from gender, sexual orientation, age, religion and so forth, all living peaceful with each other and as it seems also serving together as a unity. Other countries can sure learn from that! I’m glad having encountered this parade in Vancouver yesterday to see that honoring military can also happen in a positive way. In that sense Lest we forget” and “Thank you for your service”.
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