Wednesday, November 12, 2003

YOUTH AND REMEMBRANCE

Earlier I blogged a National Post commentary piece that decried the lack of respect amongst youth today towards Remembrance Day. In contrast Roy MacGregor, in today's Globe and Mail writes, Remembrance Day resonates for a younger generation that clearly sees cost of war.

MacGregor wrote his article from Carleton University where students had left class to stand in the cold rain at a Remembrance Day ceremony. He notes the level of respect, solemnity, pride, sorrow and historical understanding present in the Carleton students.

There seems to be an attitude amongst many of the generation of people my parents age (Boomers basically), especially with regards to Remembrance Day, that "the kids these days have no respect." This observation from the armchiargarbageman is an example of that attitude.

But the older generation has always criticized the younger for not showing a proper amount of deference and respect and degree of manners, so this is nothing new.

Further, every generation is going to remember the past differently. This is simply a function of the passage of time and the interpretation of history. Our parents' generation does not remember the wars, or anything for that matter, in exactly the same way our grandparents do, and we will remember things differently again. The importance is that we remember, and my expererience as one of "the youth" is that we do.

In my high school when the administration scaled back Remembrance Day ceremonies it was the students who took the initiative to organize events. Similarly, yesterday's service here at McGill was organized by the Arts Undergraduate's Society. And last week an aquaintance of mine commented that he didn't wear a poppy and that he didn't really see the point in it. Immidiately I and the other five people in our group challenged his statement and defended the tradition of Remembrance recalling the sacrifice of our veterans.

This anecdote may not be particularly statistically accurate but it is still telling. For the one student who did not think much of Remebrance Day there were six who did. However, the six only really felt the need to speak up when the views of the one were voiced.

The kids these days, I think they're alright.

Posted by Matthew @ 2:14 PM