November 11thSaturday November 10, 2007 - Author: NightStorm -
Tomorrow is Rememberance Day. A few years back, when I was still in High School, one of my brilliant teachers asked the class a question… what does Rememberance Day mean to them. Many in the class, I am sure, viewed it as nothing more than a holiday… a 3 day weekend, a chance to party it up, or a day to not worry about homework. See, when I was in High School, there were no major Military actions taking place involving Canadian Soldiers, so it was hard to wrap your mind around the idea of people from YOUR country dying for someone else. I had missed all the other major wars, and the Gulf War was just far enough away that it had slipped our minds, being replaced by the White Bronco chase in California and murder aquittals. We were largely untouched by the idea of people from “home” drying overseas to assure others were given the chance to live in a way that we had largely taken for granted.
Then 9/11 happened. I had been out of school for some time by this point, but living in the States at that time, it hit close to home. Schools were locked down (including the small-town school my then-step-son was attending), all planes were forced to land, and military was mobilized. People had died. Lots of people. Every News channel, every website, every conversation centered aorund this act, and the idea that we were going to War. Canada, my home Country, was one of the first to reach out to the States with an offer of aide (something a lot of Americans have since forgotten). Soldiers from my home Country were now at War, fighting for a Country that was not even their own. And more, Soldiers from my home Country were dying for that War. Selfless acts of sacrifice in the name of Freedom and again, the way of life we had taken for granted.
Between September 11 2001 and September 25 2007, 72 Canadians have lost their lives (LINK). These were not simply unnamed faces… these were someone’s son, or daughter, or neice or nephew, or grandson or granddaughter, or mother or father. All people who stood up and stepped forward to defend freedom, and ultimately gave their lives for it. How do we honour them? How do we now, today, stand here and say thank you to those people who can no longer be here with us? We take a day, and dedicate it to their lives and their sacrifice. We think of them, we carry their courage and their memory and their sacrifice with us, and we make sure that what they gave was not in vain. And we make sure that every generation knows what November 11th really means. It’s not a day from school, nor a day from work. It’s a day to say “Thank You”.
If that same teacher were to now ask me the same question I was asked then, my answer would likely be much different. I only wish it did not take the deaths of all those men and women for me to stop viewing the day through selfish eyes, and to understand what it really meant.
To everyone who is in the Military, or has been, or knows someone who is and stands by them even in the darkest of moments. Thank you.
Tribute to Canadian Soldiers
Canadian Forces Tribute
Played at Military Night
Produced: Steve Godkin, Manitoba Moose
March 10, 2007
Moose vs. Iowa Stars
Parent Club; Vancouver Canucks
Categories: Rememberance Day