Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Learning From Yesterday's Story

I’m reading “All the Light We Cannot See,” by Anthony Doerr, the story of two children during the Second World War- a blind girl in France and an orphaned German boy with a passion and talent for building radios. The book opens in 1944 with the Allied forces bombing German-occupied France. 

Immediately I was gripped by the reality of civilians on the ground in any war. For them the bombs that fall threaten death whether they belong to occupying or liberating forces. 

And I think of the Syrian refugees piling their children into inadequate rafts in the hopes of getting their families out of the place where bombs are falling. 

Yesterday, on a CBC radio call-in show, listeners were asked whether or not we could do what our newly elected government has pledged to do and take in 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year. I held my breath and listened. Over and over men and women called in and said emphatically, “Yes, we can.” There were stories of churches, community organizations, and small collections of friends and acquaintances who are privately sponsoring refugee families or getting ready to support those who are government sponsored.

I was surprised to find my eyes wet with tears. I was moved and lifted up by people's profound willingness to help. 

Each year at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month- the anniversary of the moment when the First World War ended- I stand in silence with others, remembering the cost of war and honouring those, past and present, who risk and often give their lives in our armed forces. 

The slogan most often used today is: Lest We Forget. I am so grateful for the privilege of being able to remember. May we listen to and remember and be guided to offer what we can by the stories of war- past and present. May we honour the sacrifices and the suffering by working for peace in all we do. ~Oriah © 2015

(Photo from Paul L at )


  1. Thank you for posting and finding the spark of hope in a very tragic situation our world faces.

  2. Your post brought tears to my eyes. Nowadays here in The Netherlands people are more and more aggressive towards the fugitives. If you see in the news what some say and do you get tears in your eyes too, but such different ones.
    So thank you!!!

  3. Thank you for sharing, Oriah. Your words reach a part of us we lose touch with in the struggles and stories of those living in the horrors of war. I pray there will always be compassion for therein lies peace and hope.