Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November 11 alternative Remembrance Day/Peace Service

I was honoured on November 11, 2014 to be invited to provide the key address at Project Ploughshares annual “Alternative Remembrance Day Service.” Approximately 25 people bundled up warmly to withstand the -15C crisp Calgary afternoon at the Calgary Peace Pole. Following is a short excerpt from my talk.

“Today, as we remember those who served their countries with honour, those who died for a grander purpose, let us also dedicate ourselves to honouring peace; to honouring all of humanity; accepting our differences, and most importantly recognizing our commonalities. Let us remember that each and every one of us has the ability to change the world by changing ourselves first. We can choose – choose respect of all humanity, choose to maintain the dignity of each individual. We can choose to work on overcoming fear by building trust in our nation, in our communities, in our families. We can choose to be selfless in helping our neighbours; to be honest in our decision-making about “the other.”

“So let us each resolve to choose not to listen to the negative media. Let us choose, instead, to get to know each other and to love my neighbour as myself, and build a strong, beautiful, peaceful and peace loving community together with them. I am reminded of this quote from “The Peace Mask Project” of Cambodia: “One small step towards peace is a large step away from war.

Janyce Konkin