This Friday, Nov. 11, we will gather for Remembrance Day to honour the men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect the democratic rights and freedoms we enjoy today.
These are the men and women who left families and friends behind, as they went across the oceans to defend our country and our way of life in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War.
This year, Remembrance Day is especially poignant, as more of our local veterans, who sacrificed so much for our country and then came back home to work hard for their communities, have gone to join their loved one and their fallen war comrades.
While far too many young soldiers lost their lives during the World Wars and other conflicts, many others, who showed equal valour and patriotism, survived and came home to try to pick up where they left off before enlisting.
It wasn’t easy for them, as they also went through the horrors of war and sadly left comrades behind.
As time passes and fewer veterans are with us, it is increasingly more important to show we remember their sacrifice.
For years, we have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our veterans in crowded community halls, as we sang O Canada together.
Over the years, we have watched our veterans age – now they have trembling hands and sad, watery eyes.
Behind those eyes, however, is the fierce pride and steely resolve to protect our country – for their loved ones and their fallen comrades.
Now, we have young men and women who have fought and survived many other bloody conflicts around the world.
Many have come home – after experiencing the horrors of war – and they try to get back to some sort of normalcy.
They, too, suffer silently like their fathers and grandfathers before them.
We owe them so much for putting their lives on the line to prevent war from breaking out on Canadian soil.
We need to remember and honour them on Nov. 11.
Remembrance Day is also a time to show respect for the men and women who continue to fight in wars around the world.
They fight to protect democracy.
They fight to stop atrocities.
They fight to ward off fanaticism and terrorism that would creep throughout the world if they go unchecked.
We need to honour and support them for all they do to protect us and our way of life.
We need to tell our federal government to help them when they return home, especially if they’re suffering from physical and psychological injuries.
We need to use the power of our votes, which our veterans have sacrificed so much to protect, to ensure government and society looks after them properly.
We should be “remembering” every day.