Remember the forgotten

November 11th, 2009
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Whether we like it or not, most of us have had our lives, directly or indirectly, shaped by the wars of the last century or more recent conflicts. One can look first at the “great course of history”, where had one small thing happened differently – say bullets at Sarajevo – the lives of our families and our own could have been radically different. For others it is as immediate as this: a bullet or piece of shrapnel a few feet or inches to the right or left and we literally would not be sitting here today.

Many families know such stories, a wounded relative pulled out of a group in a crowded field hospital, to be saved while others all around died. Someone missing a transport truck only to find that it had later been destroyed and all aboard killed. Such is the hand of fate, or Providence, and it has affected most of us in some way.

But today we should make a particular effort to remember those on the other side of those stories. The men on the truck, those who bled to death while others were saved, the families rent apart and the generations thereby unborn; these should be foremost in our minds and in our prayers. Many of their stories are unknown to us. While we honour the survivors and those who continue to fight on our behalf in foreign wars, let us remember the forgotten, the unknown soldiers.

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By John Weissenberger