I have written my feelings about this day several times since I started blogging and I don't think I have much more to add so I will just repost.
The only thing is that in this time which is seeing the creation of more veterans then any other in modern times we remember that today is not only for the World Wars though, it is to remember ALL
veterans of ALL conflicts, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and all
members of our peace keeping forces who have given their lives to our
great nation's service, and for the dream of a peaceful world for all.
It is also for the families- the husbands and wives, children, parents- and friends of those who serve. They sacrifice so much to support our soliders. Today we must also honour and remember them.
On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month we will remember them.
Today is Remembrance Day here in Canada, Veteran's Day in the US and
Armistice Day in the UK and France. While originally only commemorating
the Great War (WWI), and then both World Wars, today we remember all of
our veterans of all conflicts, and our Peacekeepers around then world
who so bravely serve and fight for our freedoms and way of life. Where
ever they are, remember our serving men and women, and their families
who stand up for what we as a nation stand for.
Whether in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda, or Haiti or those from
conflicts further in history, remember the important and great work our
men and women have done and continue to do.
Bayeux cemetery is a multi-national, mutli-faith cemetery where far too
many soldiers are buried. The thing that I remember most though is
meeting this beautiful woman who had been in Bayeux when the battle took
She was 16 years old and like so many women of the time took care of the
wounded and dying. Every week since then she has tended the Canadian
graves at this cemetery. At the time it had been 56 years.
For 56 years this woman tended the graves of those boys, and they were
boys 16-22 mostly, who had come to liberate her country from horrors she
still will not speak about.
Grave after grave, and so many saying only "To Be Known Only Unto God".
Boys no older then I was then. So many heartbreaking inscriptions. To
this day I cry when I think about it. So many families left behind.
On the anniversary of D-Day we were in Bennie-sur-Mer, on Juno Beach.
The beach Canada took for the allies in what is still one of the
greatest military operations in history. We were invited to march
through the town as part of a parade to commemorate the liberation of
the town, and at the end to sing O Canada while ground was broken on
what would be a memorial centre. People hung out the windows watching,
and when they saw our flags and jackets with the maple leaf they cheered
and waved. We heard more the one Vive la Canada! Merci Canada! And
these were not just from the elderly who had lived through it, but all
ages who had been brought up to remember. I cannot tell you how proud to
be Canadian that memory makes me.
Today and everyday may we remember the sacrifices of those who have gone
before us, and who go before us now so that we may have our corner of
freedom and peace.
For those who are teachers, please continue to teach our history. We
cannot forget the huge sacrifices that have been, and are made every day
by not only those who serve in our armed forces, but their families as
well. Bring out the old text books with more than one chapter on what
has made us.
Bring alive the history, the human sacrifice, the trials and triumphs.
Our country came of age in the midst of horrendous wars. We stood tall
when greater nations fell. We volunteered more men per capita then any
other nation. We held lines when others ran. We took the field when wave
after wave of others had failed. We showed kindness to those who had
been so brutally mistreated. Europe does not forget and neither should
Be proud of our history and our legacy.
Teach our children to be.
Teaching them that our peace came at a terrible price does not glorify
war and violence.
Teach them that all it takes for evil to triumph is
for good people to do nothing.
Teach our children that peace is the
ultimate goal, but it is not always an easy one.
It takes strength to
And as Canadians we have long and proud history of standing
Teach them to continue that.
Especially when it is hard.
to call those who do nothing out.
To Stand On Guard. Our anthem is not
just another song. Teach it to them.
So that never again will our nation, or any other, ever be called upon to make such a sacrifice again.
Lest we forget.