Remembrance Day is an important tradition on a global scale. It is a time to put aside our international differences and honour the soldiers that fought in combat in order to secure a brighter future for us. In Canada we are especially privileged to live our lives with such significant freedom and equality. These soldiers put their lives on the line in order to defend and protect their country, and many of them didn’t return home to their families and to their friends. In respect of their efforts and recognition of their sacrifices we spend Remembrance Day honouring those that fought for us.
Last spring I took a trip to France, where I got the opportunity to visit Juno Beach and the Canadian graveyard. It was an eye opening experience to walk on the shores that so many soldiers had fought on, won our freedom on, and lost their lives on. But what was truly life changing was going to the graveyard, where these soldiers were buried. There were rows on rows of gravestones; each of these gravestones was engraved with a message signifying the life of a person who had died. These messages provided a connection between a dead body and a person with a family and friends who loved and cared for them. Some of the soldiers were the fathers of children, who couldn’t quite grasp the concept of death and sacrifice yet. Some of the soldiers were friends and trusted comrades with such a collective mindset that they would put their life on the line for anyone they loved. Some were the sons of loving parents who at one point received the worst news of their lives, and had to continue life with the knowledge that they had outlived their child.
Especially for our generation, it is hard to truly grasp the significance of Remembrance Day. We haven’t really been involved in or lived during a war like the World Wars or the Cold War. However, that in no way means we should respect these soldiers any less. If anything, we should be more grateful of their efforts because if it wasn’t for them we would not be able to live in such peace, and with the amount of freedom and independence that we have. Remembrance Day is a time for us to recognize, and above all show our respect to, the sacrifice of all of the soldiers who died in and returned from combat. For all these reasons Remembrance Day is one of the most import holidays; it is a time for us to reflect on the past, show our appreciation for the present, and have hope for the future.
Visit DLTK’s for Remembrance Day or Veteran’s Day activities.