The Zoey Blog: The Journey From Platform Nine and Three Quarters FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Journey From Platform Nine and Three Quarters

Leaving the house this morning I was busy tucking my grandfathers dog tags away under my shirt, and pinning a red poppy to my coat when Zoey asked what was up with both.  Astute little girl, and so despite being late I took a moment to tell her what Remembrance Day was all about.  The conversation quickly turned into a comparison of Voldemort and the Third Reich, in which my Grandfather, a veteran, was referenced in the same breath as Harry Potter, and well, I just can't think of a better...okay, maybe cooler...tribute on this Remembrance Day.  He'd have had no idea, of course, having been gone for decades, and may very we'll have harrumphed the whole thing, but trust me when I tell you this Grandpa...that's one cool reference point.

It's difficult explaining to a little girl what war is, and why we're trying our best to remember. Set that in contrast with what I feel is a need to really get down to the abstract fuzziness of it all, the philosophical even, and it gets even harder. I want to always set days like this, and efforts such as those that we make today, in the context of what freedoms we've been blessed with...and one of those freedoms is choice, and the freedom to believe in whatever we chose to believe in....another is the freedom to express ourselves in whatever way we so chose. Our grandfathers, our great grandfathers, even for some of us our fathers and mothers, aunts and uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, and friends all faced the inconceivable horrors of war in one shape or another so that we might have the freedom to do as we chose, believe what we choose, and find not only safety in that, but comfort as well. I want my children understanding that. It's an important but often overlooked part of all of this.  Whatever your beliefs are, there has been, or were, soldiers fighting to ensure that you have that privilege. It's a momentous thing. It means that whatever beliefs you have someone sacrificed their life so that you could have them. That demands not only your respect for those who sacrificed, but for those beliefs that you might not necessarily believe in yourself. It's not just about tolerance, it's about comprehension of the abstract concept of sacrifice and freedom. You might not agree with someone, but my grandfather gave an enormous part of his life, and sacrificed more than I'll ever truly comprehend so that we could disagree.

When a four year old girl compares you to Harry Potter, well, you might have just reached the pinnacle of whatever tributes us silly Muggles can make, and if that same little girl can start to wrap her head around the concepts of remembrance and sacrifice and freedom all because of J.K. Rowling's brilliant work, then maybe the task of helping her to understand isn't as daunting as we may have thought. Like we needed one more reason to love Harry Potter.


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