I have a German student this year, my sweet darling Lena. She's been asking questions about Remembrance Day -- what happens on that day? How do we honour the fallen? Do I have anyone who was directly connected to either of the wars. She said that she finds it wonderful and new to be in a country where we celebrate our military and honour those who have died defending our country and our freedom. Her grandmother's brother was killed on the Russian front and his body never recovered: her grandma cried one year after reading his letters. He was just 22 years of age.
Germans don't study German history at any time in their education because of the guilt and shame they still feel to this day. Do you want to know Germany remembers the wars?
Each year, holocaust survivors come to German schools and speak to the Grade 10 and up students about their experiences in the concentration camps -- about what was done to them; how horrible it was; how horrible it still is for some in remembering that they survived while thousands didn't. Lena heard 2 Polish survivors last year and cried throughout the talk.
It has given me a whole new perspective on "Lest We Forget".
Our brave guys may not have come home, but we hold our heads high for them and we honour them by remembering their sacrifice. Not only do we have the blessing of being victors, but we also have the blessing of pride because of what these brave men (and women) have done and continue to do.
Thank you: we will not forget.