Sunday, November 11, 2007

Do You Remember?

I woke up this morning and began my day the same way that I've started most of my days for the past couple of months: catching up. I started up my computer, and was shortly reading through e-mails and RSS feeds. A lot of news happens, and there is a lot of information to sift through, especially if some of it has been left to gather.

I was neatly stopped in my tracks by an excellent remembrance [link] written by Kieron Gillen of Rock, Paper, Shotgun. It's about a game called Connon Fodder, and how we need to remember what war was like any way we can. I had forgotten, in my rush and my info-soaked life, that today was a day for remembering. It was there, in the back of my mind, to be sure, but the meaning had been lost. I had been wearing my Poppy all week, and I barely knew why. And here was a gaming blog doing it's part to remember. It got me to thinking.

I'm part of a blessed generation. I don't know war, or famine, or persecution, or prejudice. I can't even remember a time when these thing had any bearing on my life. I have a couple of relatives that were part of the last great war, but they are few and far away from my everyday life. Remembrance Day (Veteran's Day in the USA) has just been a day free from school or work, that has a ceremony, and uniforms, and two minutes of trying not to fidget too much. It conjurs memories of school gyms, and poppies, and cold November mornings. It does little to bring the deep realities of what we are supposed to be remembering to mind.

I want to echo Kieron's final statement, as it resonates with me today.
Remembrance Day always makes me sad, because every year you see less and less soldiers at the Cenotaph as age takes its inevitable toll. Soon, they’ll be none and the remembrance will become even more vague – and, part of me fears, without living artefacts, we’d end up forgetting what we learned in the first and second world wars. [...] To keep those lessons alive, we have to turn to art. History lessons don’t work. People never listen to lessons. We need art to make people feel about things which is absolutely essential to feel about it.
So I hope you took some time, even just two minutes, to remember those who fought, and who died. Remember what they were fighting for, and who. Remember that we live free today because of their sacrifice.

I'll leave you with two final things: First, you can play Cannon Fodder on GameTap for free until the end of December. Second is the other thing I saw/heard today that echoed off the first and pushed me to write this post. It's called "A Pittance of Time", and was written by Terry Kelly. You can read the story behind the song/video here.

1 comment:

  1. Two things -

    Unfortunately, even as the older veterans are dwindling in numbers, there are younger veterans showing up at the cenotaphs in increasing numbers every year because war just won't go away.

    Art is a powerful way to teach and learn.

    So I agree -

    Make Art Until The World Changes.

    I do.