November 11 is a solemn day of remembrance. We remember those that have fought and died in the military conflicts of the United States and its Allies. The casualties of war are celebrated as heroes and indeed they are. Ordinary men and women answered their country’s call to serve in the armed forces of their respective countries and they died as a result of that response.

Warriors have always been celebrated for their great feats of strength and valor in every conflict since the earliest days of human civilizations. While they selflessly gave their lives to defend their countries, their passing is never in vain. The military casualties of all the world’s armed conflicts are representative of all the greatest qualities of citizenship, namely, they fought and died for others to live in freedom. We are perpetually in their debt and this is precisely why we commemorate this day in a solemn manner, enrobed with silence and peace.

Paradoxically those that have died in conflict have done so in order to restore and preserve global peace. Throughout the centuries the military conflicts of warfare have been much debated and discussed. Principles such as the Just War Theory of Saint Thomas Aquinas labored to justify warfare according to logical principles in order to sustain the justification for military intervention. War is the prelude to peace and the men and women that fight in order to restore peace to the world are meritorious not only through their actions, but through the sacrifice of their lives for the common welfare of all peoples, resulting in the restoration of global peace.

Oftentimes their selfless actions are forgotten, especially in times of tranquility and harmony. The world owes a great debt of gratitude to all who have given service and have sacrificed their lives for our benefit. November 11, Remembrance Day or Veteran’s Day in the United States celebrates service, namely the service of those who were brave enough to take up arms to defend human freedom. Without them, the principles of our democratic republic would have expired into a world of anarchy and human subjugation, the spirit of liberty tattered and crushed while tyranny reigned.

In commemorating the brave men and women who have answered the call to preserve the peace we do so with a resolution that war is never the first recourse to preserve peace. Dialogue and negotiations between nations is the first step in preserving global harmony and war is the result of the failure to adequately negotiate harmony through effective dialogue.

November 11th, 2018 marks the centenary of the cessation of hostilities which ended the First World War. Often labeled the Great War, it destroyed the fabric of Europe, toppled royal dynasties and left almost 40 million people dead or wounded in its wakes. The purported greatness of the First World War in no way alludes to any greatness of warfare, the term greatness unfortunately refers to the scale of atrocities waged between nations, destruction of cities and the deaths of millions of people. The scale of heinous activity of the First World War would only be eclipsed by the ignominious genocide and destruction manifested during the Second World War.

The 20th century witnessed two world wars and millions of people were killed, wounded or displaced as a direct result of these conflicts. Remembrance of lives lost is the reason we commemorate both those that died and those that served on November 11th. We remember today so that the world will continue to experience peace and tranquility tomorrow and in all subsequent days. Lest we forget demands that we remember, never to repeat the mistakes of the past as the world seeks peace in the present and the future.

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