Today’s Editorial November 14: Remembrance Day not enough

Another Remembrance Day has come and gone.

We hope you took at least a few minutes to remember our veterans who fought in various wars to ensure freedoms throughout the world.

The Cayman Islands has been lucky to have never been involved in military combat.

But we do have many men in our midst who travelled to strange lands to fight in wars in years gone by.

It is their experiences that we honour each Remembrance Day.

And it is their experiences we don’t dare forget.

That’s why it is so important for our veterans to pass along their stories and knowledge to our young people; and for our young people to take note and listen.

Many of us cannot fathom what our soldiers went through as they looked into the face of death every day.

They found themselves on battlefields fighting enemies that threatened peace for all of us.

They were there for many reasons, but mostly because of a sense of duty to family, country and world.

They didn’t know if they would come home.

Many didn’t.

Our teachers do a good job of telling students about the heroics of soldiers fighting to keep the world safe.

Students are good at listening and many participate in the selling of poppies, those little red flowers made popular by John McCrae’s poem, in Flander’s Field. The flower was chosen because it bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I; their red colour appropriate because of the bloodshed.

We wear paper or cloth poppies this time of each year to help us remember our veterans.

But are we doing enough?

The men and women in this world who fought in wars for the sake of our freedom should be remembered each and every day, not just on 11-11 at the 11th hour.

As we enjoy peace and freedom in our paradise of the Cayman Islands it’s easy to ignore the wars that rage on.

Soldiers are still dying.

Peacekeepers are still in peril.

War rages on in Afghanistan.

In the Middle East.

In Africa.

In Asia.

Almost everywhere.

But it’s so easy to not think about the strife of war that continues.

Turn off the radio or change television stations from CNN or BBC and you don’t have to listen to the reports of death and dying in wars being waged throughout the world.

It’s so easy to forget.

Our veterans in the Cayman Islands are growing older by the day.

Soon there won’t be any left to keep the legacy alive.

We need to do all we can to listen to their stories and learn from their wisdom while they are still alive.

Remembrance Day is a day to commemorate the sacrifice of veterans and civilians in World War I, World War II and other wars.

It is observed on 11 November to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918.

It is a time-honoured tradition.

But is it enough?

We need to remember our veterans every day and ensure they are cared for.

They gave so much for all of us.

We need to give back. Every day.

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