November 11 was the centenary of the Armistice. One hundred years on, we remember the tragedy and loss of war, hopefully not as an abstract historical event, but as living, breathing people – on both sides – who lost their lives, or who became physically and mentally wounded. Not to mention the devastation of civilians. What lessons are there for our modern world in remembering the sacrifice of a century ago? After WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and ongoing vigilance against terrorism, it would seem that nations still face circumstances that draw them into war.
Its easy to agree that “War is Hell”, but perhaps the broader lessons lies in addressing conflict and aggression in our own lives and communities. One in three women worldwide experiences sexual violence in their lifetime. Another third experience physical violence. Harassment, discrimination, even neighbor disputes, are insidious forms of violence. Perhaps our dedication to action in commemorating the loss of war, is to do whatever we can to educate, engage, role-model and stand against subtle but pervasive forms of violence in our own communities.