A ‘thing’ about memorials and Acts of Remembrance
Last week, we had a memorial service for those killed in the London bombings. Today is Remembrance Sunday, where we remember those killed at war. And next week, there’s probably some other memorial service for people killed in another horrific tragedy. And all of these kinds of events make me feel the same way: If I died in some extraordinary fashion, I wouldn’t want to be remembered at these services.
There are very few things I can think of which are more depressing than the thought of being remembered for your death, rather than for your life. How many of those killed in the London bombings would want to be remembered as the person killed in a terrorist attack? How many more would prefer to be remembered for the happiness they brought to their family, and the good they did with their lives?
How many servicemen killed in battle would want to be remembered for enduring the worst possible conditions, far from home, only to die in unimaginable pain at the hands of the enemy? How many more would prefer to be remembered for the time they spent with their families, friends, and colleagues before being forced to fight for their country?
When the time comes, if some great atrocity carries me off, if I’m lucky enough to be remembered then please put the end to the back of your mind, and remember my life before you remember my death.
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