Writing

On Remembrance

In Canada, November 11th is set aside as a day of remembrance for those who have given their lives in service to our country. The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month is one moment out of the 365 we remember the sacrifices of those who stand against tyranny, and who fight for peace.

WWII Memorial.

Just a few weeks ago, a soldier was killed in Ottawa, our capital city. He was a ceremonial guard at the National War Memorial. He was an animal lover. He was someone’s son. We remember him, and those like him, who served in the name of peace, and who believed in us as a people enough to give their lives in its defense. We remember those who spend their time separated from those they love because they believe the best of us is worth fighting for. We respect those who’ve seen war, and death, and pain so that we don’t have to.

 

France
Belgium

A little over a year ago, I married into a military family, and before that, one of my best friends married a man who would spend time in Afghanistan. I would receive her texts in the early morning, or late at night, terrified it was his base that had been bombed; his body that would return home in a flag.

Craters made by bombs and mines. You can't walk on the grass because not all the mines are accounted for.
Vimy Ridge, France. Craters made by bombs and mines. You can’t walk on the grass because not all the mines are accounted for.

We forget, sometimes, that these men and women are people who were loved. We see news reports or webposts about war, and the thousands of people in uniform, or of the explosions, and we forget.

"The thought that Jock died for his country is no comfort to me - his memory is all I have left to love me."
“The thought that Jock died for his country is no comfort to me. His memory is all I have left to love.”

Today is not a day to debate the pros and cons of war. It is not a day to make false promises of peace. Today is a day to thank the men and women on whom we rely when the days are at their darkest. It is a day to remember those who are no longer with us because they fought for our nation, and to offer them our support. It is a day to reflect upon what we would do without them, and to recognize their value to us all.

Mourning, Vimy Ridge
Mourning, overlooking Vimy Ridge and France.

This value should not only be recognized once a year. It should be recognized every single day, and we should recognize not only those who have fallen, but those who have survived. Below, I’ve provided a like for the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity that supports soldiers and their families. If you’re able, consider providing for those who’ve provided so much for you.

Wounded Warrior Project

There are thousands of graves like this all over the world.
There are thousands of graves like this all over the world, not least all over European WWI and WWII memorials.

 

 

 

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