My husband served in Afghanistan. My grandfather served in the army. My great-grandfather served overseas in combat as well. I think because of my families military background, people just assume that I hold the opinion of nothing Christmas related before Remembrance Day.
And you would be right. But not because I think decorations and a tree are somehow rude or going to take away from Remembrance Day. As a family, my husband and I just choose not to take part in decorating or putting up a tree before December 1st. In all honesty, we could both could care less if you take your Christmas decor out in July or if you leave it up to enjoy all year.
But their are some things that we do care about that actually do take away from Remembrance Day. That are actually disrespectful to all those who bravely served our county.
When at the 11th hour on Remembrance Day, our moment of silence at the memorial service is interrupted by the traffic behind me. All those cars filled with people who just couldn’t find the time to go to a memorial service, or even pull over for a moment of silence. This is disrespectful to our Veterans.
It is disrespectful when companies don’t recognize the importance of participating in Remembrance Day. I’m not suggesting that these companies allow their employees the morning off to attend a service. Although it would be nice, it doesn’t seem like a reasonable expectation. But having your employees take a moment of silence at 11am is reasonable and should be encouraged.
And it is definitely disrespectful to all our Veterans when we neglect to teach our youth about the great sacrifice these men and women made so we could enjoy this amazing country. A lot of our youth today take for granted all the freedom they experience. They may even think it’s their right to live with the freedoms they have. But it is not their right. The freedom they have the luxury to practice was paid for with the sacrifice of others. It’s our job to teach our youth this. To teach them that they are not just wearing red flowers, and reciting a poem every Novemember 11th – but they are honoring the sacrifice from others so they could experience the type of freedom they do.
These are the things that are actually disrespectful. These are the things that truly take away from Remembrance Day. Not twinkling lights. Not fancy decorations. And certainly not a Christmas tree.
So this year take the time to show up at a service – or even watch one at home if you are not able to get out. If you are at work, encourage your employer to allow you to take a moment of silence at 11am – at the very least. And let’s all ensure our youth knows why they are participating in their school assemblies.
Let’s focus our attention on addressing the things that actually take away from Remembrance Day.