In this week’s news column, I want to take the opportunity to talk about our veterans, the sacrifices they made for Canada, and some of the ways we can show our appreciation.
As Canadians, and even as we face significant challenges, we enjoy rights and freedoms that are the envy of the world. Throughout our past, when the world faced evil and tyranny, Canadians stepped up to ensure good prevailed. In defense of freedom and Canada, countless fought, and many gave their lives.
These sacrifices are not just made in wars past; our men and women in uniform still put their lives on the line for us today. In fact, this year, we have seen our soldiers step up to help domestically and continue to fight for our values around the world. Tragically, a number of Canadian Armed Forces members have lost their lives in service to Canada over the last year, including Corporal James Choi, who was recently killed in a live-fire exercise at Camp Wainwright here in Battle River – Crowfoot. On November 11th, we remember the fallen, the sacrifices they made, and why they fought. The poppy is a persistent symbol of remembering those who are no longer with us and the freedoms that were defended.
The poppy is a simple symbol of remembrance and is distributed by local Legions. We are used to dropping a few coins in the collection containers, and those small donations keep Legions running, so they can continue to support our vets. This year, local Legions are having an especially difficult time. In addition to wearing a poppy, consider making a contribution to your local Legion at www.legion.ca.
Due to the unique times we are currently living in, Remembrance Day will look different this year. Ceremonies are going to be held virtually, are downsized, or unfortunately cancelled altogether. With this in mind, I encourage everyone to still ensure they take time to remember. If you can, attend a modified ceremony to pay your respects and honour our veterans, watch a service virtually, and stop by a cenotaph to pay your respects and/or drop off a wreath or some flowers. Further, we can read stories of those who faced war, we can share with our kids or grandkids about why remembering matters, and we can always take a moment to thank a veteran or soldier for their service and sacrifice. We must do our part, whatever way we can, to remember and stand up for what those who went before us fought for.
“They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
To find a local ceremony to attend, or for more information about Remembrance Day, you can visit https://www.damienkurek.ca/remembrance.