Could you send your young son or daughter off to war in a strange land? How many of our grandparents made that ultimate sacrifice? Too many. Lest we forget.
In Canada, we wear the poppy and call it Remembrance Day. Our neighbor to the south call it Veteran’s Day while the United Kingdom calls it Armistice Day. They mean the same.
A day set aside to honor those lost and those who still serve. At the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month…observe a moment of silence to reflect.
We must remember our freedoms that come from the fights of yesteryear. Lest we forget the loss that was suffered by families and nations as young people stepped up to defend their country and beliefs.
We must never forget.
My dad joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) for WW11 when he was in his early 20’s. He shipped out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and served many years in England.
My paternal grandfather was a gunner in WW1. He returned to his farm in Saskatchewan with severe “shell-shock” (now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and completely deaf.
Many of my Aunties and Uncles on both sides of the family went overseas in some capacity. Some were nurses, others fought in the trenches, while others did God knows what.
Today war is different, or is it?
It still takes lives and makes killers out of young people. The technological advances give advantages and distance, but the outcome remains the same–there’s no escaping that.
To me, war is something unfathomable.
I have a 19-year-old son, a 21-year-old nephew, and so many young people who make my life full–not for a second can I even imagine what it would be like to have them pulled into war to risk life and limb. My brain can’t go there.
Some young people enter the Armed Forces to get an education, to have an adventure, or to see the world. I admire the choice, dedication, and discipline it takes to make it work.
Whether we’re speaking of an Army Corporal, a Navy Doctor, an RCMP/police officer, a Border Agent, or Air Force Pilot… They put their life on the line every single day to defend the freedoms that were secured by our forefathers.
Don’t ever let those loses be in vain. We must preserve our freedoms and respect our veteran’s. Embrace and never forget. We don’t want to repeat history. The losses were huge and I hope we’ve learned because those who don’t learn from their past are doomed to repeat it.
Lest We Forget
The following poem is one we learned and recited in elementary school. It was written in 1915 by Canadian Army, Doctor John McCrae. It is why we still wear a poppy today.
In Flanders Fields
BY JOHN MCCRAE
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie, In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.