Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. It is the day that we set aside to remember those who have given their all in service of our country and those who continue to do so.
At 11:oo a.m., where were you? Did you take the time to whisper thank you to those who served? Did you buy a poppy to show support for our veterans and their families? If you didn’t, why?
My daughter and I were part of the group of dedicated volunteers from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 7 who spent time at Kildonan Place Mall yesterday. We ‘sold’ poppies to support those who served. For those of you that don’t get it, poppies are used to acknowledge the sacrifice of those who served.
Yesterday, a girl about 5 years old came up to me with all her money clasped tightly in her hand. She asked me if she had enough to buy a poppy. When she opened her hand, she had 8 cents. It was all she had. But, she wanted to buy a poppy. She really wanted one for her sister and her mother as well. She said she knew she didn’t have enough. I told her that whatever she had would be enough. It was the thought that counted. I gave her three poppies; one for her, one for sister and one for her mom. She gave me all her money. When a five year old girl can give all she had, why couldn’t you have stopped and gave a nickel, a dime, a quarter or more?
You see it has never been about the amount of money that you put in the donation box. It is that you cared enough to put what you could in the donation box. By donating, you give support to veterans who have defended our country without any say in where they were going and whether or not they would return. They answered the call. Would you?
Most Canadians don’t know what it means to serve their country. They have always lived a life of comfort and certainty. I can tell you that the first time they are put in the cold of the Canadian Arctic in a tent at -60 Celsius without a heater and freeze-dried food; the whining would be epic. There would be no cell service, no Internet and no electricity. It isn’t about comfort, it is about building character. tenacity, and endurance. You do what you are told; not what you want.
To those that served before me, who served with me, serve now, and will serve in the future, you have my undying gratitude. You are worthy of adulation which you won’t get but should. You are a credit to yourself, your family and your country.
Comfort leads to complacency and we are very complacent. It isn’t that we should remember them, it is that we must. If we don’t, their sacrifices, past, present and future, will be in vain and everything that we believe in and know will be at risk.
In the words of Laurence Binyon,
“They shall grow not 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.”
Lest we forget.