A few days ago most Commonwealth countries commemorated Remembrance Sunday. The day is observed on the nearest Sunday to November 11 to mark the anniversary of the treaty signed to end the first world war. The fallen — both military and civilian are commemorated. However, despite the deep significance of this day, the event passed almost unnoticed in Pakistan. Only the British High Commission held a ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves memorial in Rawalpindi, and that was about it.After the independence of Pakistan Remembrance Day was certainly observed in the country. However, it largely fell by the way side after the 1965 war with India when September 6 began to be celebrated as Defence Day. The subsequent denigration of Remembrance Day is a certainly a great loss for Pakistan. Remembrance Day should also be celebrated in Pakistan because it will connect us with the rest of the world and especially the commonwealth. In both world wars, men and women from the area which is now Pakistan participated in nearly all theatres of war — over a million men of Punjab alone participated in the Second World War. The allied victories were not just victories of the West, but also ours. The blood of the Punjabi, Pakhtun, Sindhi and Balochi soldiers was shed to defeat Hitler, as much as that of the British, French, Russian and American. Our contribution to world peace should not be forgotten, neither by the West, nor us.Secondly, Remembrance Day reminds us of the shared values of freedom and justice for which the world wars were fought. The threat of Fascism was real (and in fact is again becoming a dark reality), and so it was certainly right and just for countries to rise up against it. Therefore, the day is a testament of our beliefs — shared across the boundaries of race, religion and any other difference, which makes us a member of the world community. Remembrance Day reminds us of the shared values of freedom and justice for which the world wars were fought. The threat of Fascism was real (and in fact is again becoming a dark reality), and so it was certainly right and just for countries to rise up against itThirdly, Remembrance Day is a day where war is commemorated, not as a glorious event, but as a terrible calamity. The experience of the First World War devastated a whole generation, and cries of ‘Never Again’ were heard across Europe. The years of fighting in the trenches, where more soldiers died due to disease and other factors rather than enemy fire, created a deep and sombre impact on the lives on both military personnel and civilians. The barbarity of war, the ruthlessness of modern weaponry, and the savagery to which the human race can fall to, are all remembered on this day, with a hope and promise that such viciousness should never be repeated. Remembrance Day is a reminder that while war can at times be a necessary evil, it is never a solution and should never be celebrated.It is primarily a day of prayer: for the dead, for the living and for hope. Praying for the dead is considered a commendable exercise in all major religions of the world, including Islam. The specific religious services associated with the day are a critical marker that the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform, and by the civilians, were not in vain and will be remembered. During the Second World War, the longest war was Burma Front which began in January 1942 and continued till July 1945. Primarily fought by the British Indian Army, these troops from areas all over which are now Pakistan, India and Bangladesh fought valiantly to defend their country from the Japanese attack in the deep, inaccessible and inhospitable Burmese jungle. Many troops died of malaria, others were captured and tortured, still others perished in the Japanese attacks, but the strong men of the British Indian Army — including my father who was a young recruit at that time — kept up their morale and defended their country under General Slim, who was later offered by both independent Pakistan and India to become their Commander-in-Chief. With a strong level of participation, immense sacrifices and exemplary valour, we should not forget our men who shed their blood in the world wars. The 14th Army, which led the campaign in Burma, was called the ‘Forgotten Army’ after the war since few recognised its contribution.At the Kohima War Cemetery Memorial where a critical battle took place the inscription on the epitaph reads: “When you go home tell them of us and say for your tomorrow we gave our today.” It is time to start honouring our forgotten heroes.The writer teaches at IT University Lahore and is the author of ‘A Princely Affair: The Accession and Integration of the Princely States of Pakistan, 1947-55.’ He tweets at @BangashYKPublished in Daily Times, November 19th 2017.