A Change to Remembrance Day

Yesterday, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Justin Trudeau, Bibi Netanyahu, and other world leaders were hosted by Emanuel Macron to mark one hundred years since the end of the first World War. Today, the day after November 11, we have to look at what the day is really all about, and the impact it had on our world.

First of all, why is it that Remembrance Day and Veterans Day is commemorated on November 11? The simple answer is that is the day that the armistice was signed in 1918, the day which ended World War I. We now have to ask ourselves, why is it on this day that we remember and celebrate all veterans, of every conflict. After all, World War I was not necessarily the most moral war, and certainly did not have a pretty ending. After all, it is the first World War and its conclusion that led to the Treaty of Versailles, the great depression, the Weimar Republic, and ultimately the democratic election of Adolf Hitler, and the murder of six million Jewish souls during the Second World War.

To this, I propose a change. It’s time for the rest of the countries of the world to take a page out of Israel’s playbook. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful that we mark the end of the first World War, one of the deadliest conflicts in human history in which 40 million people, soldiers and civilians were murdered. But think about it. What if we just called that Armistice Day? What if we took that day to recognize only the fallen soldiers, and destruction caused by World War I. What if then, like the State of Israel, we took June 30 in Canada, or July 3 in the United States to recognize all soldiers that served our country, ahead of our independence day. Then and only then, we can fully recall the horror of the first World War, as well as recognize our military for the incredible sacrifice they made, and continue to make, to protect our freedoms.

 

About the Author
Kyle Zaldin is a teenage Jewish writer from Thornhill, Ontario. Immersed in the Jewish Day School system since kindergarten at Associated Hebrew Schools, and now at TanenbaumCHAT, Jewish education has always been a big part of Kyle's life. A member of the NCSY Student Executive Board in Toronto, as well as the Aish Thornhill Community Shul, Kyle has continuously used his Jewish values to inspire others. Having grown up in a Conservative Shul until shortly after Bar Mitzvah, and later becoming more observant, he writes and delivers talks, speeches, and other Divrei Torah for Shul and other organizations with the goal of bringing the Jewish people together, regardless of levels of observance and prior knowledge.
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