Remembrance Culture

The other day, a friend was telling me about their grandma’s experience at the opticians a couple of weeks ago.

The old lady needed a new pair of glasses and booked an appointment to collect the new pair today.

“Oh, November 11th. That’ll be easy to remember.” The old lady told the shop assistant.

“Is it a special day?” Came the reply.

My friend’s grandma rolled her eyes and told the assistant. “No. It’s Remembrance Day”.

I don’t think the shop assistant meant it in an ignorant way. She was probably very busy and it was just a rote response to make conversation.

But it’s interesting how the culture of remembrance is different among generations. Perhaps for some people, when we fall silent at 11:00am today, it’s just another thing we have to do. We might “know” why, but not connect with it.

For the old lady’s generation, they lived through the Second World War. Her father fought in the First World War. I imagine the memories were very present throughout their lifetimes.

As the younger generation, I feel we have a duty to remember.

We have rituals like a minutes silence to remind us that young men and women gave their lives, and still continue, to fight for peace and justice around the world.

I think we can all take two minutes out of our ‘busy’ days to remember them and give thanks for what they have done.