"Lest we forget" are the three most likely memory words on November 11.
But growing up and working in a Mennonite setting, another set of words was imprinted on me around Remembrance Day.
"To remember is to work for peace".
I wear the words so they are visible from the red button on my chest.
And yet more and more I wonder about my remembering and my peacemaking.
Maybe I need a button that says: "Remember the innocent children victims who die in war."
But maybe I need another quite different kind of button that says: "Remember those who wore the uniform, fully convinced they are protecting my freedom and now deal with horrible pain and shock-filled nightmares." I would need a bigger chest to wear that button.
I still love my small red button. But it really is small. I am trying to make room on it for the wounded men and women who used to wear the uniform. Maybe it should just say, "Love a veteran." Somehow I would like to let my world know that my deep desire for a non-violent world includes a deep desire to see healing for those wounded by violence.
No button will carry this much freight. For now I wear my button beside a poppy.
But I welcome the challenge in our Mennonite Central Committee world, to grow our peacebuilding so that it includes all harmed by war.