Because those who fought for us deserve for us to remember. To never forget the darkest aspects if our selves. That we are capable of the most atrocious things in the name of war. That we honor all those who fight and have their lives in hopes of never needing to fight again. The regret of needing, forcing our own down the path of darkness that we may have light.

I believe that war is a monstrous, terrible thing. I also believe that it may be necessary, ingrained in our souls. It is because the story of Cain and Abel is so horrific, yet so possible. There lurk monsters, if not in our minds, ingrained in our DNA. We are wired to fight, to hurt one another, to strike when others are weak, to take advantage. Part of us will always want to live, and at the most basic level, to live is to take from the world.

And yet I also believe that even though there is a price to happiness, that the balance of our mind is knowledge, is the ability to choose. Some say it separates us from animals, or from lesser people – but even if you are the only person in the world capable of free will, your responsibility to that power is to use it for good.

Let us never forget those who were made to use their power in the most terrible way, in the darkest of times. That we honor their legacy by never making the choices that bring us to that brink. The uncountable lost – how can you imagine a million names, let alone entire lives, stories lost. That we are here means that the price they paid was not in vain. May we honor their legacy as custodians of the future.

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