Lest we forget again

Remembrance Day is a unique day that I celebrate. There’s no denying the stories of the heroism from the Second World War can bring chills up and down your spine. These men fought a corrupt regime and gave their lives so that people like you and I could live free from oppression. I enjoy these freedoms but my story comes with a twist for I am German.

I had a grandfather that was killed during the war and a step-grandfather who survived. So they are called “Nazis”, I don’t know what my real grandfather believed but I sure do know what my step grandfather believed… he hated the regime he fought for and most of all its leader. I tried on many occasions to get stories out of him from the war but he couldn’t, it had scarred him badly and woke him often with nightmares he would not share.

So yes, I celebrate Remembrance Day but it often feels bittersweet. My family fought for the wrong side and I too paid for that growing up and was reminded of that when I was called a “Nazi” in elementary school. Sadly the ignorance in this world has no limits. People today are also called “Nazis” hardly for the correct reasons, many names are thrown back and forth and I fear if people don’t start listening to each other again, history will repeat itself with more wars and pain.

Despite all this, I will remember all those who gave their lives and fought. My step-grandfather is still a hero to me because he loved me unconditionally. So when we go remember on Remembrance Day, remember this… ignorance and a lack of understanding still exists in this world today and if we don’t open the dialogue between us all we will have to mourn the deaths of many more in the years to come. I pray we can celebrate our freedoms but most of all that we stop incorrectly labeling each other and begin to see the good in each of us so we can avoid these senseless wars because there is always pain on both sides and if we don’t “remember” the true meaning of what was fought for, it will be lost.

Lest we forget