I wear a poppy because I want to remember.
The splash of red
symbolic of a place I have never been but whose stories I have been taught.
A poem committed to memory as a child
"In Flanders Fields the poppies blow…"
So I wear a poppy and I remember.
I attend a service because I want to remember.
Standing silently when asked
as emotions flood my mind.
What should I ponder in this moment?
I wish my thoughts were more profound
but I attend a service and I remember.
I stand at a cenotaph because I want to remember.
Glancing at names etched on plaques,
names of people I do not know.
People who walked the same ground I do today
but whose duty took them so far from home.
Now I stand at a cenotaph and I remember.
I read accounts because I want to remember.
To understand what can't be explained.
Cold that cut to the bone.
Feet that never had a chance to dry.
I read accounts and I remember.
Yet I try to remember what I do not know.
But I take part
and I listen and learn.
Because when we learn, we know
and what we know we can remember.
Yes, I remember
Not as one who recalls, but as one who reflects.
Reflect on what I did not live through
Reflect on what I did not see
Reflect on what I have not experienced
But I remember as best I can
Because not doing so is not an option.
So I will remember
Little though it is
because the cost was too high for too many.
I will remember
because today…that is what matters most.