Remembrance Day is a conflicted day for me, I have had the absolute luxury of never having to fight in an armed conflict and for that I am grateful.

Conversely, the application of military power is always the sign of the failure of the human spirit when we must resort to destroying nations and people for what is purported to be what is “right”.  We must remember all of those who gave their lives and have had their lives taken from them.  John Pilgers quote speaks to the merciless nature of war.

During World War One, 10% of all casualties were civilians.

During World War Two, the number of civilian deaths rose to 50%.

During the Vietnam War, 70% of all casualties were civilians.

In the war in Iraq, civilians account for up to 90% of all deaths.

Sobering figures to say the least.

Speaking of participating in Remembrance Day activities, I had a concert yesterday and my choir, called Soldiers Cry.  It was special as Roland Majeau came to sing his song with us, he brought his guitar and accompanied us while he sang the solo line.   The song is rhythmically very challenging. As you’re sitting there listening, clap your hands softly to find the pulse of the music. Notice that all the lyrics start when your hands are apart. This piece of music has syncopation in spades, making it just a bear to learn.

The second challenge for me is not to think of the damn video while singing, because becoming emotional/getting misty does bad things to your vocal instrument. :/

I’ll apologize now for the disjointed nature of this post.  Days like today do much to stir the emotional pot as they raise many conflicting feelings about how we treat the past, and which parts we choose to focus on.  Our history contains a staggering amount of violence , every day could be like November 11th for all the people who have unjustly lost their lives during conflict.

I hope that on days like today people understand, even for just a short while. the importance of history and how the past makes our future.  Understanding what we have done, and why, is vital in constructing a coherent view of the world.

I’m not sure how many people really get the horror of war and the terrible price we all pay being party to it, but if Remembrance Day awakens a twinge of empathy, a stirring of consideration, even a feeling of “I don’t want that”, then days like this should be considered to valuable and worth continuing.

Joyful Noise

Update: The concert went very well, we played to a full house and managed to get an encore out of the proceedings.  :)