A German Priest’s thoughts on Remembrance Day

In Germany, Remembrance Day was established as a national holiday in 1934, in order to commemorate the soldiers who died when fighting for their home country. But the purpose had been changed after WWII. Since than, we commemorate on this day all people in the world, no matter from which country they are, who are victims of war.
In Canada, you already see a lot of people wearing poppies; it all started with a poem

IN Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.
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.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Major John McCrae wrote this poem nearly one hundred years ago, in May of 1915: it was the middle of World War I.

He wrote it, sitting on the back of an ambulance, after he just buried a dear friend. He felt at the end of his rope; he couldn't stand the inhumanity and the cruelty anymore. He wrote the poem to vent his anger, his frustration, his sorrow. He saw poppies springing up in fields where there was nothing left to move and to grow, Just like those poppies in a lifeless field,

he searched for some hope, some humanness in his own barren and lifeless heart.
I think, it is not important, where in the world you have your Remembrance Day. The feeling, the meaning, the purpose is the same: We mourn for the beloved ones who were victims of war. We pray to God to grant them his peace, to let light perpetual shine upon them.
And we share on this day the hope, that one day, we won't need a remembrance day anymore. That one day, we will have peace.

The Very Rev'd Christian Schreiner is a Lutheran Pastor from Bavaria who is now, as an Anglican Priest, the Dean of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and Rector of the Parish of Quebec.