Update: My sincere apologies for blogging for not fact checking before posting. Apparently Poland’s occupation by her neighbors officially only lasted 123 years rather than 200. However the partitioning of Poland’s borders started before that time, so my initial past may not far off. Still I apologize about that error.
Today is Rememberance Day. Originally commerating the end to the senseless slaughter of World War I with the signing of the Armstice. Today we commerate the sacrifices of men and women in the armed forces and resistance forces. But we should also remember all those died because of that most hideous of human acts, war. Since the French Revolution, the total war doctrine expanded the scope of war to include civilians and many innocents have been massacred in front of altars of War. We too need to remember them.
Rememberance should not end at wearing a poppy and a gloomy look. It should not be done for a few minutes of silence once a year. (But please the least you can do is offer those few minutes.) No we should try to learn about these sacrifices and why they happened. Knowledge for its own sake is of little value. Knowledge must be acted upon for it have value. We must act upon the knowledge of these wars, their victims and their consequences. For the consequences of even wars that happened hundreds of years ago, live with us today.
I’ll make the bold claim that it is our duty to help eliminate or minimize these horrors from touching future generations. Unfortunately, our current actions don’t speak well to a better future.
For Poles today is also our Independence Day from the combined empires of Russia, Austro-Hungarian & Prussia. The end of World War I ended 123 years of foreign occupation and resistance. Today as a Pole I remember about the many sacrifices done for our national identity and voice. And I pray that Poland does not lightly dismiss these gifts, for profit and conformity to the European Union.