Today, in honor of Armistice Day (Veterans Day in the US) and the 100th anniversary of the war to end all wars, the final of 888,246 ceramic poppies was placed at the Tower of London–one for every British or British colonial soldier lost in World War I.
If only it was the war that ended war, but with every escalation into battle, every advancement in war machine technology, every additional life lost, it feels more like the beginning of the end not of war, but of us.
My grandfather fought in the second World War–enlisted, in fact. And I am proud and grateful. But more than that, I wish there hadn’t been a war for him to fight in so he could have stayed with us longer. But absent that dream, I am glad for such a beautiful and impactful remembrance. They fought. They died. It is up to us not to forget. It is up to us to try and prevent future lives lost.