November 11th is a holiday in France. A few stores may be open in the morning but in general people have the day off. This year many managed to have the Friday off also. In our village there is a ceremony with flags and speeches and a flower arrangement being placed at the base of the memorial for those who were killed in war. The speeches emphasized the horror of war and the hope for lasting peace.
It was pouring rain this year, most were sheltered with umbrellas and we did not tarry on the square but entered the one town establishment where drinks and nibbles were waiting for any residents of the town who cared to attend. I was next to a woman who told me about when she was in grade school in a neighbouring town and it was bombarded.
Later as I shared this with my husband, he asked which side had bombarded the town. I didn’t know and was thinking about that when I realized that in a split second many thoughts had crossed my mind: which side, who were the “bad guys” this time, to whom should we attribute a black mark, oh, aren’t they awful… Suddenly I thought it doesn’t matter which side did it. Some human beings bombarded some other human beings. That is horrible enough without any further details. As we commemorate the end of these ghastly world wars, we still have not put world-wide enduring peace in place. We still bombard each other with domination, exploitation, unfairness, nasty remarks, all kinds of behaviour other than love.