Imposing the silence

I was lamenting to a co-worker today that Canadians, by and large, do not reflect much on the significance of Remembrance Day. For most, it causes no interruption. Should you happen to be on the subway which stops for the two minutes of silence, certainly. Otherwise, you might go through the day unawares. James Bow wonders whether more should be done:

As for the people going to work, the act of stopping work (and stopping all transit vehicles to work — any chance of doing that for all cars?) is a significant gesture that one is less likely to do at home.

The aforementioned co-worker told me that everything stops in Israel during the two minutes of Remembrance Day silence. Sirens wail about the towns and all traffic halts until the silence is over — a slight inconvenience compared to the lives and youth lost by those who went to war for our freedom.

I am of two minds in this matter. On the one side, everyone should remember. It is all too easy these days to run through the day without stopping for a few minutes of contemplation. Stopping all activity would only remind people to take a moment and remember the sacrifice of those who served during war. Two minutes is not much to ask. However, those who are inclined to take the time to remember will take the time no matter what, even if it isn’t at the eleventh hour. Those who would never take a minute or two to stop and reflect would only view an imposed silence as an annoyance or an inconvenience. They wouldn’t take the time even if they were given time.

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