Reflection on War

Our world has changed over the years because of many different things. War is one of the reasons for a significant change in our society. Thinking back on World War I and World War II we can see that so much has evolved. Our society has grown, and there have been so many new advancements in technology. Hearing this, you could say that war helps us to grow, but the damage it causes affects many people’s lives. In most wars, people are often killed and families are left to suffer. Young men who joined the army during these times put themselves at major risk since the wars attacked them physically, mentally, and emotionally as well.

In All Quiet on the Western Front, written by Erich Maria Remarque, when Paul is given leave and returns home he feels uneasy, the war had changed him. The experiences he had faced made him stronger but they had affected him emotionally. When he saw civilians amongst the streets on his way home, they greeted him since he was in uniform. Paul disliked these interactions since he felt that emotionally, these civilians could in no way relate to the people who fought in the war. This is important because if there wasn’t anyone willing to risk their own lives in war, then there would only be more damage done. With no one to support one another, people are bound to fall.

Looking back on these past wars, we must remember the people who risked their own lives to create a more sustained future for us. We must use these past wars to educate ourselves on how people lived during those times, the violence which occurred, and what the result was. To help ourselves change our thoughts on war, we must look more towards the negative effects of war. Then people will begin to believe that there are no benefits that come from it. This will help us prevent wars from occurring in the future and advance together as a society. There will always be people in this world who will not agree with this, but I believe that if we work together we will succeed in creating a safe future for generations to come.

Every year on November 11, we have Remembrance Day. On this day we acknowledge the armistice of the end of World War I. Most people wear a red poppy which symbolizes the lives of the men and women who fought during the war, we wear the poppy to show that we care. After the war had ended, poppies grew where the battle had taken place, which is why it is used as a symbol on this day. The poem “In Flanders Fields,” written by John McRae was inspired by the poppies which grew on the battlefield.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

From these few lines within the poem, we are listening to the voices of the soldiers who had fallen on the battleground. They are sharing with us their lives, what they used to feel with warmth, how they were once loved, and where they now lie. They are trying to teach us to take advantage of every day, to spend more time with those you love, and to follow what you feel is right. Life is valuable, and we can’t take advantage of it, but we can use it to do the right thing.

This poem is often chosen to be read during ceremonies on remembrance day since it talks about World War I from the perspective of the soldiers. It addresses the battlefield where the war had been fought and how it had been such a life-altering incident for many individuals across the world. If I was to ever be given the privilege of organizing a remembrance day ceremony I would decorate the area of the event with poppies, and give every individual who comes to support the event a red poppy. To help symbolize hope and respect shown by everyone there. There would also be various flags that represented where the soldiers who fought in the war came from. The ceremony would begin with an acknowledgment of the land we are currently occupying, which is Songhees and First Nations land. There would then be a speech by a government official on the war, who would reflect on how it had greatly affected our society. After this speech, we would have 2 minutes of silence to reflect on the war ourselves. Then there would be the reading of “Flanders Fields,” by a young school student. Once this reading is finished we would end the ceremony and say thank you to all who came and supported the cause alongside us.