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Remember, that wine you are so free to drink and enjoy in that glamourous restaurant in a city you treat as a playground, is made of grapes grown in soil that itself is made of the decomposed bone, flesh and blood of dead soldiers. And the air you laugh into is made of the same oxygen that has circulated the earth for millennia and has been breathed in and out by the likes of Genghis Khan, Columbus, Einstein, Mao, Mohammed, Churchill, Hitler, JFK, Jimi Hendrix, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso, Mozart, Mapplethorpe, and Michael Jackson. Your playground is built on the fallen.

Today, let’s set our self-absorption aside and think beyond ourselves. Set aside our compulsions to shop and eat and consume and drink (trust me, being able to drink alcohol is not some cool, special or important achievement–anyone with a mouth and $5 can do it) and think of the world outside our cellphones, selfies, cat videos, silly memes, latest Rihanna dance moves, and “epic fails”. Let’s think about the people from all of our countries who have lost their lives fighting for whatever it was they believed in or were told to believe in. Either way, they sacrificed so that we could all be able to spend our time partying, playing, studying wherever we want, whatever we want, shopping, having fun loving whomever we choose, and being free to dream our own dreams and not those of someone more powerful than us. So today, my beloved peeps, let’s dream big, not just of getting jobs that will let us buy more stuff and take selfies at Disneyland, but of an even better, more peaceful future, one that we believe in with enough passion to fight for.
 
Remember:
Normandy..
Mogadishu…

Taiwan…
Syria…
Tokyo…
Pearl Harbour…
Hanoi…
Dresden…
Hiroshima…

Shanghai…

Nanjing…
Baghdad…
Sarajevo…
Yemen…
Passchendaele…
Gaza..
and Tel Aviv…
Nagasaki…
London…
Beirut…
Seoul…
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Teacher Paul
Teacher Paul

Paul Duke lives, instructs and tutors English, studies and writes in Canada and Japan.

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