“At the going down of the sun, we will remember them.”

Week 46 of our photo inspiration challenge is appropriately titled: Remember.

Being from a Military family, Remembrance Day on the 11th of November is one I mark each year by attending services at the local cenotaph – wherever “local” might be for me that year.

This year I attended the cenotaph ceremony in Orangeville, Ontario where I, along with a few hundred others joined in a moment of silence at the 11th hour to honour those who had sacrificed their lives for our freedom in all previous wars and to pay tribute to those who continue to make personal sacrifices in today’s military.

I remember a few years back visiting a cenotaph with my sister in a small southern Ontario town where we noticed that the town had erected matching walls, one for each war we remember each year: World War I, World War II, Korea, and Afghanistan, with the names of all those local lost to each conflict etched inside. On the far side of the cenotaph sat a blank wall; waiting for the next one.

While it sometimes feels futile to pray for peace in a world like ours, there’s still something too hard and un-human about a ready-made cenotaph.

So I’ll go ahead and pray that going forward in the future, we have no need to erect blank walls at our cenotaphs, and that the one we came across that day remains blank. Let that stand as a memorial in and of itself.

Je me souviens.

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