If this image means nothing to you, don’t bother reading any further. This article isn’t for you.
There is a day and a time, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month when we will remember. But, what are we remembering? This time, this day, was not created by us or even for us. Our parents, grandparents, and their friends and relatives decided the things they valued were worth fighting for, even dying for. They understood that bad things happen when good people do nothing. They answered the call, and when it was over they set aside a special time each year to remember the cost of the freedom we enjoy. They hoped that in remembering, future generations would be spared the horrors of war.
Most of them are gone now and we really don’t understand the sacrifices they made for our freedom. Yet, today we are seeing the horrors of war in our own living rooms as news from the Ukraine and Gaza is broadcast daily. The horrors of death and destruction are real.
As I think of past Remembrance Days I remember when:
- Remebrance Day was a holiday and businesses and schools were closed.
- School children marched in the Remembrance Day parade.
- Marching in the parade as a Boy Scout.
- Seeing a decline year over year in attendance at the service.
I have also witnessed years when participation swelled because of events in the world. Were you among the many who turned out in 2001 following the attack on the World Trade Centers? It remained high in the following years as our servicemen and women were involved in operations like “Desert Storm.”
I’ll confess to some anxiety over the arrival of Remembrance Day this year. The recent demonstrations in Canada by supporters of the Palestinean cause strikes me as a threat to our freedoms in this country. I fear that these demonstrators are going to look at our day of Remembrance as an opportunity for attention via disruption. I have fear of services being disrupted and cenotaphs being damaged. Will the police be present for more than just a photo-op? These are religious services with hymns and prayers and it is a crime to disrupt a religious service in this country. Will there be peace?
I question whether the cenotaphs should be guarded by our military instead of cadets this year, to make sure they are not damaged.
This problem is bigger than Canada. It is occurring around the world. I challenge you to watch this Australian broadcast video and leave a comment.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.Lest we forget.
November 11, 2023
After posting this last night I watched CBC news. I suspect you have all heard of the shooting in Edmonton where the 11-year-old son of a known gang member was deliberately shot and killed by rival gang members. The reporter told how Acting Superintendent Colin Derksen “warned people to avoid trouble like arguments with strangers” because you don’t know where it would lead.
Are the police telling us not to defend our values? What has this country become? Would those men and women who gave their lives for our freedom be proud of what this country is today? Is this what they died for?