This November, as we do every November, Canadians will gather at memorial services to remember all those who have lost their lives in defense of this country and its freedom.
On Tuesday, Nov. 11th we will observe a moment of silence in recognition of all those brave souls.
Some have implied that this year, Remembrance Day has more significance in light of recent events. We don’t think that should be the case.
While the recent deaths of Canadian soldiers Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent certainly mean Remembrance Day will be more prevalent in the public mind this year (and that is a good thing), this year’s Remembrance Day observances should not be any more or less important because of them.
Yes, it is important to remember the most recent soldiers to die in defense of Canada and its values.
However, it is no less important to remember those who died nearly a century ago while taking the heavily defended German ground in the Battle of Vimy Ridge or those who died while scrambling to secure the beaches of Normandy in the D-Day invasions 70 years ago.
None of the soldiers we remember in those battles, or any of the battles in between or since, who died are more worth remembering than the others. All gave their lives to protect the freedom that Canada enjoys today and all deserve the same recognition.
That is the point of Remembrance Day, to remember all who have paid the ultimate price for the liberties that Canadians enjoy today.
That is why we observe Remembrance Day every year, regardless of whether Canada is at peace or war, regardless of whether or not we have recently suffered attacks against our freedom.
It is also important to remember those who survived in Canada’s war efforts as well as those who died. Canada’s veterans are a dwindling group and they do a very important job.
It is our veterans who remind us of the importance of remembering. It is our veterans who work to give the young generations of Canadians an idea of what kind of suffering any soldier endures for the love of kin and country.
The easiest and probably the best way to honour all our veterans, both those still living and those who have joined their comrades in the next life, is to remember.
As the Royal Canadian Legion proclaims in its motto, ‘Memoriam Eorum Retinebimus,’ – We Will Remember Them.
So this Nov. 11th, when you partake in a memorial service for all who have done so much for our beloved country, just remember. It’s as simple as that. Remember.