The 68th anniversary of D-Day was a reminder to us all of the June 6, 1944, invasion of Normandy that ultimately marched the Allied Forces into the end of the Second World War nearly a year later.
It was also a reminder of just how many days we set aside to acknowledge humanity's unfortunate proclivity for war.
Later this month, June 28 will be the 98th anniversary of the "shot heard 'round the world," a phrase borrowed from an account of the start of the American Revolution, which later became the watchword for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 - a year etched in our memories as the starting point of the "war to end all wars."
Would 'twere so. Instead, Canadians have taken the end of that First World War on Nov. 11, 1918, as a point of remembrance for those who died in those four terrible years of conflict - and borrowed the date to mark the Second World and Korean Wars, as well.
And now, many also bow their heads on that day in remembrance of those whose lives have been given over to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, as well as for those who have sacrificed all for Canada's world-wide peacekeeping work.
The importance of war in human culture cannot be understated. Many Canadians feel we "matured" as a country with the historic victory at Vimy Ridge in April 1917.
You could find few Canadians (and fewer Americans, naturally) who would not recognize the significance of Dec. 7, 1941.
And the "9/11" short form for Sept. 11, 2001, has become synonymous with the coordinated act of terrorism that put the entire world once again into an effective state of war.
Brits and their derivatives often consider 1066 history's most pivotal year.
And yet, of all the wartime milestones that we acknowledge, whether beginnings or endings, the one we all surely look forward to the most - the only one that will not be tinged by our shameful behaviour towards one another - will be the last one.
@ Copyright 2013