It doesn’t take much to say thank you—thank you to the men and women who fought for Canada in the past, and to the ones who continue to do so today.
This yearly reminder to say thank you, and spend but a few minutes out of your day thinking about all the things we have because of their sacrifice, is becoming more and more important with each passing year.
There was once a time when almost every single Canadian had a relative or friend who had served Canada in one of the World Wars, or Korea—even those who didn’t serve remembered what it was like to live through it, to wake up each morning knowing that the entire world was at war.
As time marches on, it becomes rare to have a living relative who served in combat. And the day will come when all of Canada’s World War veterans are gone.
Even though time does not make their sacrifices any less important, it does, unfortunately, make it easy to forget.
Remembrance Day was always an important day in my family, with both my grandfathers having fought overseas (one in the Canadian Army, the other in the British).
But now, as both my grandfathers have passed on, and my family has scattered a bit, the occasion is not marked the same way.
I no longer hear the stories of their service, although looking back I wish they had told me much more.
It wasn’t until my grandfather’s funeral when I heard the story of what he did to be awarded the Military Cross. It’s a tragedy how many stories have been lost.
Without these daily reminders, it is that much more important that we carve out this time each year, not just to pay our respects, but to keep the memory alive.
These people worked too hard and gave too much to simply be forgotten.
The government has declared November 11 a statutory holiday.
It was not done so that we could have a day off work and sleep in. It was done so that every citizen would have the opportunity to attend the services and honour the sacrifice of those who served.
The services begin at 10:40 a.m. on Monday Nov. 11 at the Golden Cenotaph. Golden always has a good turnout for the ceremony, but it can always be better.