The older I get the more I think about the sacrifice made by those who served in Canada’s Armed Forces and I feel a great sense of gratitude but also a lingering feeling of sadness. Someone died so that I would never know the horrors of war.
I can’t imagine living in a time when the men around me one by one left home to fight overseas. I can’t imagine waking up everyday wondering if this would be the day I receive a telegram that my sweetheart , husband, or son wouldn’t be coming home alive. More than that I can’t imagine what it must have been like to see the atrocities of war and live to tell about them.
I try to imagine what it would be like now if I had chosen a different path and lived a military life. I’ve always been a pacifist, but I try to put myself in the shoes of the people everyday who leave their families and serve their country. I’m ashamed to admit when I was younger, I never understood the calling for a life of service and didn’t appreciate the discipline and commitment it takes to serve one’s country. I may not understand or agree with the actions and decisions of Canadian or United States government when it comes to war, but I will ALWAYS appreciate the men and women who wake up everyday and put on their uniform.
I’m proud to wear my poppy today and stand at the eleventh hour in a moment of silence to show my respect and gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives so that we can remain free.
I will also take time today to quietly meditate and hope for peace, hoping that history will not repeat itself.
Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to his creatures; peace is our gift to each other.
– Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, author of Night trilogy