In a time where things are hyper sensationalized and denuded of any real meaning Remembrance Day has done remarkably well to maintain its somber demeanor and sense of decorum.  (I’m sure some budding capitalist is contemplating a remembrance day sale, just before being cuffed upside the head for being so vulgar)

I’d like to put forth the notion that we should change the focus of Remembrance Day; from the armed forces to the civilian populations that suffered the brunt of the casualties during  those special times where we leave our empathy and rationality at the door and engage in wholesale slaughter.

This is by no means a comprehensive listing of all civilian deaths due to war – just the low-lights that I could find.

World War I – 6.8 million civilian deaths.

World War II – 42 – 58 million civilian deaths.

Korean War – 2.8 million

Vietnam – 2.0 million

Nicaragua –  78,000 and counting due to landmines.

Iraq – 93,000 to 102,000 and rising.

Afghanistan – 32,000 and rising.

We should take this day to remember our humanity and to work toward understanding each other from across a table, not the barrels of guns.

We should remember those innocent victims of war, they certainly did not deserve their fate, yet war claimed them anyways.  We should remember the Armenian Holocaust, we should remember the Jewish Holocaust not only to remind us of depths of human depravity but to remember that tragic events such as these happened because ordinary people did not speak up and call out the injustice as it was beginning to happen.

It is our responsibility as human beings not to look and then turn away, but rather, we must face our ugly past to prevent an ugly future.

So, on this November 11th, I choose to remember our common humanity and weep for our losses due to the depredations of war and unrest.  I will remember that I will always have a choice whether or not to perpetuate evil, I will remember the past and hope I have the courage to make the right choice if faced with the grim situations that have marred our bloody history.