Last Saturday was Remembrance Day. A day to honour those who have lost their lives while fighting for a better tomorrow while fighting for all of us. This was my fourth Remembrance Day in Australia, and although my office is right in front of the Shrine of Remembrance (which is the place where the biggest ceremony takes place in Melbourne) last Saturday was my first time actually attending one in person.
I went to my local RSL where a small ceremony was held. A Naval Officer started the proceedings, the ceremony was about to start, the clock marked 10.59am.
11:00am, the Last Post started.
11:00:05am my eyes teared up.
On Saturday afternoon, I uploaded a video in my YouTube channel about the significance of Remembrance Day. In Colombia, we do not have a day like this. I guess the main reason is that we did not play a big part in WWI or WWII, but we do know a lot about wars, after all, we have been in a civil war for the last 50 years. *sigh* After uploading the video, I got a comment… “I don’t understand why I foreigner would care” to which I replied ”I think it’s a good opportunity to honour those who fought for us, I lost an uncle in conflict”, I normally reply to comments, I like to connect with my community and I thought this person was thinking Remembrance day is only about WWI and WWII. His/Her response was “Which war” and I thought: Does it matter????
I clearly remember the day my uncle died. I was 10 years old. I was watching TV when my mum received a call: my uncle could have been in the helicopter that was attacked by the guerrillas earlier that day. The hours after that first call were full of uncertainty, fear and prayers. Finally, by the end of the day, we got the confirmation no-one wanted to hear: My uncle was assigned to that mission and there were no survivors.
His death scarred not only my life but many other people’s lives forever. He was 28. He was the kindest person you could imagine and most importantly, he was my favourite uncle (not to say that I don’t love my other uncles, it’s just this one was a very special one). Since he was a kid he wanted to be part of the army, he knew that was his true calling and he died protecting us, fighting for peace that is yet to come.
I know Remembrance Day was first established as a commemoration for those who fought in World War I, and since then it has evolved to be a day in which we remember everyone who has died, been injured or affected by any war. Colombian internal conflict included. My dear Uncle included.
We will remember them, Lest we forget our soldiers, our heroes, those who fought for what we have today, no matter the war they fought, no matter if it was an international affair or an internal conflict.