We cannot allow wars against nations, disease, hatred, or any evil to defeat us or make us afraid to live free lives.
We celebrate our war dead. Our wounded. Those who left limbs behind on foreign soil. Those who served and sacrificed in fighting roles, in support roles, in and out of uniform, in our merchant navy too – everyone who scrounged a commodity for the war effort, the whole country was involved and engaged during WWI and WWII, and Canada’s record of service to the world is widely and well recognized. We should think about that more than one day each year.
And we should never forget the many who didn’t perish.
They came back in one piece, but they never came back whole as they were when they left to serve, unspoiled magic of young men and women not yet in the prime of life. Thanks too, for those who’ve lost hearing and sight, limbs and life in service of our country.
We pause today for all who served and for those still serving.
Those who serve, all sides in every conflict, civilians too, businesses, buildings, safety, and truth – all are casualties. Returning to civilian life, they doffed uniforms, strode among civilians again.
But war wounds go deeper for soldiers and societies.
Whether celebrating liberations, as we do today, we also celebrate the heroism of serving – living and dying – for one’s country. Through all the wars, conflicts and peace-keeping missions, Canada has never suffered an attack on our shores.
All men and women who served and fought under our flag have done so on foreign soil to help others be free, to be safe. So many we’ve too often taken for granted are genuinely standing on guard for thee today.
Long since the Treaty of Versailles annually commemorating the WWI (the war to end all wars) armistice signed November 11, 1918, we calm ourselves, quiet ourselves.
11th hour, 11th day, 11th month, Remembrance Day.
We must also revere those serving now along with those long-ago killed or wounded.
I was over at Calgary’s historic Currie Barracks yesterday – just across Crowchild Trail from the Museum of the regiments. I had a business meeting there, but as I left that property, I couldn’t help but pause a while – remembering that not so long ago, soldiers marched in the parade square, trained and worked during both war and peacetime. While that property is being redeveloped, much of it is being preserved beyond street names and monuments. Lest we ever forget …
p.s. my late father was one of those, he served but nowhere near combat – he lied about his age, never regretted signing up. Never shot at, but being part of the war effort, he too was in harm’s way. He repaired trainer aircraft; never left Canadian soil, but he wore his uniform and decorations with great pride and humility.