Make Peace, Not War

By: Ashleigh Viveiros
Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, MB

We truly are a lucky generation. Those few who are too young to have ever truly experienced a war that affected the way we live our lives. There are exceptions, like the wars that break out overseas that our armies send peacekeepers to. Or the Gulf War, which in our lives took place at a time when many of us were only 7 or 8. A time when images of war on a television screen are nothing more than an adult preoccupation.


No, most of our generation (in this continent) has not been affected by a war. We might be the first in a very long time. Many of our parents were alive during Vietnam--some may have even fought in it--their parents before them were alive and fought in WWII, and their parents might have seen the First World War.

My History class recently covered WWI, and it started me thinking. We have all been taught how awful war is, yet as the years pass and we grow up almost untouched by it, we seem to lose our perspective of it. We tend to forget how awful it is until we see its images and legacies immortalized forever in the frame of a picture or newsreel. Pictures that revolt us and
yet, somehow, at the same time fill us with a sense of fascination for all the destruction we are capable of inflicting.

To some, Remembrance Day isn't much more than a day off from school. The horror of the World Wars sometimes becomes forgotten with the passing of time. For many of us it was so long ago that it seems like another world entirely. To our parents and our grandparents it is a time to remember loved ones who died for their country, for our freedom. To us, we never knew the people who died, they are nothing more than history, and so, Remembrance Day seems to get a little less important every year. In some places stores are now allowed to open on this day. Ten, twenty years from now, it may not even be remembered at all.

I once heard that all the nuclear power in the world combined has the ability to destroy the Earth several times over! Isn't that amazing? Will we really need to do it again six more times after the first? Somehow I think that once would be enough. It would be almost funny if it wasn't so scary.

Einstein was once asked the question that if we were ever to fight a Third World war, how would a war after that be fought? He answered by saying that the Fourth World war could only be fought using stones and sticks, because a Third World war would reduce mankind back to the Stone Age.

They do say that "history repeat itself." It makes you think, doesn't it?