Make it Happen Monday! #17 [And a Note about Veterans Day/ArmisticeDay/Remembrance Day]

Monday, November 10, 2014

Last week and this past weekend were seriously amazing! I can't believe that last weekend I was in London, and this weekend I was in Amsterdam, and now I'm sitting in Caen writing this post. Gah, I love travelling. It is nice to be home though. 

This week promises to be rather quiet, which is a welcome change after the chaos of the last few weeks. Since tomorrow is Armistice Day here in France, Veterans Day in the US, and Remembrance Day in the UK, I do not have any classes. There are a few events in Caen to honor the veterans and the lives lost in WWI and WWII, so I will go to some of those. 

This week, my goals are mostly centered around housekeeping and more practical things I need to get done. 

Join the link-up at The Nectar Collective!

This Week:

1. Ace my Geography Exam. I have my first exam in this class, and I am super confused about what she's actually going to be testing us on. I'm not going to lie, it's not my favorite class, but I still want to do reasonably well. 

2. Rock my Literature oral. I have to perform a part of this play called "Rhinoceros" which I actually really enjoyed. I just get really nervous when I speak French, especially in front of a lot of people. 

3. Get ahead on blog posts. I have not been posting as much as I'd like, so I want to get ahead and write some of my posts in advance. My notebook and planner are full of ideas, so I just have to bring them to fruition! 

4. Make a vlog! :) 

5. Clean out my email inbox. Boring, but necessary. 


A Note on Armistice Day/Veterans Day/Remembrance Day

In honor of Armistice Day/Veterans Day/Remembrance Day, I just want to share a few thoughts. I have never really thought about Veterans Day aside from honoring Veterans (duh). My grandfather on my mother's side was in the military, but I never knew him as he died before I was born. Therefore, my life has never really been touched by war or the military as there was no personal connection for me.

However, here in France, the idea of war and the ravage of war is apparent and felt. This continent was torn apart during the wars, and there are parts of the country that bear the scars of that even today. In Normandy, it is also the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings, and the 100th Anniversary of the start of the First World War, thus there are many events, commemorations, and discussions centered around war and remembering and honoring the victims of those wars. I have had many an emotional moment pondering the devastation and pain caused by WWII. 

In London, I was fortunate enough to visit the Tower of London to see the installation of the ceramic poppies, and it was stunning. It is quite powerful to be in the presence of such an important monument in an important moment in the consciousness of a country. 

To close, I will say this. I am not a fan of war, and I know few people who would say they are. Unfortunately, as a history major many of the important world events are wars, so I have spent a lot of my time studying wars and the consequences - moral, physical, spiritual, socio-economic, and political - that are felt by people everywhere. No matter if you agree with a war, the ideals of said war as laid out by those who organize the war, etc., it is important to realize that wars and the soldiers are not merely statistics, numbers on a sheet of paper. Numbers are cold, and they do not give you an idea about the human-ness of conflict. The people who died are real, they have families, and their loss is felt. To me, that is the importance of Armistice Day/Veterans Day/Remembrance Day. It is not a day to drone on about the glory of sacrifice, recite statistics, celebrate military achievements, or to half-heartedly spout "Never Forget" with a picture of the American flag on Facebook. It's about remembering the human cost of conflict, the people involved both civilian and military, and reflect on the actions we need to take to prevent such costly conflicts in the future. 

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