Grave reflections this Remembrance Day

A small portrait of the translator

November 11, 2008 @ 22:18 UTC

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History, War & Conflict

Many in Syria don’t know this, but in the West, November 11 is the day where we remember wars past in order to prevent them in the future. “Lest We Forget” is a slogan often repeated but seemingly seldom understood, as though we remember past atrocities on this day, it seems we cannot stop ourselves from committing new and fresh ones today, and plan on doing so again tomorrow.
Grave of an unkown soldier. His sacrifice is not forgotten.

Grave of an unkown soldier. His sacrifice is not forgotten.

Still, it is encouraging that, for at least one day, we stand against war and denounce it wherever it may take effect. Remembrance Day, or Veteran’s Day in America, is also the day we honor fallen soldiers, those who put their lives in the hands of generals and presidents, and were sent to their deaths in the belief that those generals and presidents were guiding them to a brighter tomorrow, and that their actions would protect their loved ones back home, wherever home may be. Their bravery is exemplified, as it should be, and the sacrifice that they made is highlighted for these brief moments before we move on with our own daily lives.

Today, a Remembrance Day service was held at the memorial cemetery at the end of Mezzeh, where foreign service men and women from countries around the world are buried here in Damascus. The grounds are beautiful, and the up keep is an example to the rest of the city, truly an area where you can contemplate the enormity of these young people’s sacrifice in the wonder of nature. These brave soldiers gave their lives defending their country, and the world, against those who would threaten their sovereignty and security of their homelands and ours. In World War I, it was the Ottomans that had long oppressed the Arab peoples, and had joined forces with the Germans. World War II saw the arrival and stranglehold of the Vichy, Nazi Germany’s French arm.

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