This morning I was surprised to find that snow had continued to fall overnight. We have had approximately 30 cm of snow this weekend.
Since I've lived in this apartment, I've never had snow piled up like this against the windows.(I do live on the third floor, and this isn't piled up from the ground, just what blew against the window.)
I spent some of this day reflecting on Remembrance Day. I feel it's important for me to appreciate how fortunate I am to live in a country not experiencing the violence of war. However, I can't feel that we are a country at peace - we have soldiers still in Afghanistan, and also who have participated in military actions in other parts of the world, such as Libya just recently.
We have been hearing of young veterans returning from war, and suffering from Post Traumatic Shock Disorder. This is very terrible to hear about, but something that I believe happened to many veterans of older wars as well, either not understood, or called by other names, such as "Shell Shock". It is not unrealistic to think that the horrors of war are really more than most ordinary human beings can go through without experiencing damage to the psyche.
Several years ago, I found two amazingly written novels by a Canadian writer, Frances Itani, Remembering the Bones; and Deafening, This writer reseached WWI, so deeply, and wrote so well, that I felt a sense of what it may have been to be a young man of only 17, experiencing trench warfare. She also wrote from the perspective of several characters, at home in Canada during the wartime. Frances Itani, is an R.N.; as well as a nursing instructor, and academic, and she seemed to call on her expertise of medicine, to write her books.
Last month, I read her most recent novel, Requiem, which follows the main character, a Japanese Canadian, artist, coming to terms with his past. His family had been interned by the Canadian government, after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, and he and his family, who were Canadians, experienced terrible deprivation at the hands of the government, and their "fellow" Canadians.
I do believe, that we need to honour veterans - but that it is dishonest to glorify war. I think many at war, were heros, and many that we will never know about...and also that even those who return broken in spirit are heroes. I think that the older veterans want us to acknowledge the horror of war, and not to glorify
I found the following video of a war memorial in England, The National War Memorial, at Alrewas.
There is something very powerful in some of the monuments, and the feeling of mourning and grief is very immediate.