This is not a guilt-trip.
This is not a religion telling you to suffer for the sins of those gone before, or an environmental plea to think of the world you leave behind.
This is the voice of someone shaking you roughly by the shoulders and forcing you to OPEN YOUR EYES.
Someone screamed and bled when you were born.
Someone died for you on a field in a foreign country.
Someone burned their clothing to allow your freedom of speech.
Someone worked until they went blind.
Someone made a decision that resulted in death.
It’s easy to say we should be grateful. Indeed we should, but human nature makes it difficult to be grateful and give thanks to those we don’t know – the idea’s just too amorphous. Finding out names is a start, and creates a wonderful sense of connection as we see the family tree grow. But what is possible is to live in awareness of this. Remembering one day a year is all very well, but do we really live as those who’ve gone before might have wished?
Treadwell, Cat. A Druid's Tale