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Pausing to remember
By Linda Wegner
This month our country commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. I wasn't around for that but around the world, millions of people who hoped and longed for a war-free world, celebrated. Sadly, it was not to be and just a few years later our soldiers found themselves involved in yet more hostilities.
I still have some vague memories of the closing days of that Second World War. I was just two years old then but over the ensuing months and years I would hear conversation centering around rations, sacrifices and soldiers liberating Holland. It was a somber time, a mix of relief, celebration and irreplaceable losses. I have chosen to keep those and subsequent memories as honest and clear as possible for one simple reason: I am thankful beyond description to those men and women who gave their all, in order to provide me and my family with the gift of freedom. Why would one forget that?
In an almost ironic twist of events, I married into a family that not only partially survived but lived in the middle of and through the war. I've told this story often but I simply can't and don't want to forget. After losing their way of living and too many of their family members they remain incredibly loyal to each other and equally grateful to the congregation of a church in Winnipeg who enabled them to immigrate and stay together as orphaned siblings. How can one ever forget that!
And yet, we humans do forget. Though it's almost old news now, it was just several weeks ago that our hearts were saddened by the Philadelphia massacre of worshiping Jews.
"Do not oppress foreigners; you know what it's like to be a foreigner; remember your own experience...." Exodus 23:9
God, help us never forget!
Nov. 5, 2018