I always feel conflicted on Remembrance Day. I am a first gen Canadian, my parents were born in Italy,and their parents were involved in the war. My maternal grandfather was a lover, not a fighter, but had no choice but to enlist under Mussolini. My grandmother was forced to work in a gun factory. She tells horrible stories of blacked out windows all day long, and bomb raids around the building where she worked. These were not good times. But I am a proud Canadian and am grateful for the freedoms we have, freedoms that were fought for,grateful to those who fought. But it was my grandmother’s guns fighting Canadian soldiers, and Canadian soldiers fighting my grandfather… what a hot mess. War is a hot mess.
I don’t have the will or energy to write a long post tonight. But when I think about that, I think, how free I am to be able to make such a choice– a choice to write or not write on a blog that is a hobby– nobody is mandating my time, nobody is forcing me to be anywhere or do anything beyond my will. Being overly fatigued is a state of being, but indulging it is a choice I am able to make. This was not the case for my grandparents during the war, this was not the case for Canadian soldiers. I am grateful for the freedom to indulge.
Had my grandparents not survived the war, I wouldn’t be here feeling grateful for my freedoms. Although they were “the enemy,” I know them as good people who let me stay on their sofa bed for weeks at a time during summer vacations giving me milk and cookies in front of the tv before bed; good people who let me pour sugar over my Cheerios each morning and who nicknamed me cipolletta (“little onion”) with love. But had “the enemy” won the war…. we won’t even imagine.
Lest we forget that this was a world war, and that good people around the world died. Some of these good people had the choice to be a part of the war, many of these good people had no choices at all. Lest we forget that the world was brought to arms by a few bad people who had more power than they were worth. Lest we forget that freedom prevailed. Let’s not do that again.
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