Remembrance Day Honours All Those Who’ve Sacrificed for Our Freedoms

Remembrance Day Canada 2015

Every Remembrance Day serves as a reminder of sacrifices past ensuring freedoms present, but this year’s ceremony is particularly poignant, a year after the tragic events of October 22nd on Parliament Hill, where Corporal Nathan Cirillo was gunned down while on sentry duty at the Canadian National War Memorial.

Police and security personal on the Hill responded quickly and professionally to prevent further casualties, highlighting the strong bond between those who guard our freedoms at home, and those who protect them abroad.

On November 11th We Pause to Remember Their Sacrifices

On November 11th at the 11th hour each year, in commemoration of the armistice that ended the First World War in 1918, commonwealth nations and many other countries across the globe take an official pause to remember and honour the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives defending our freedoms, during times of war and conflict.

We pause to remember their sacrifices, and to honour the living veterans who show up in large, but sadly dwindling numbers. Our freedoms, many of which we take for granted such as the democratic right to choose our leaders, are directly linked to the sacrifices of our war dead and veterans.

Most Canadians Believe Remembrance Day is Still Relevant

The vast majority of Canadians do remember and appreciate all those who have sacrificed their lives and placed themselves in harm’s way so that we can prosper in a free and open society:

Historica Canada is out with a new poll aimed at gauging how relevant Remembrance Day still is to people across the country. The poll found that most of us… more than 80 percent — feel Remembrance Day is just as important now as it was after World War One. News1130

In a world full of political turbulence, regional conflict and rule by despots who regularly sacrifice the human rights of their own people in order to cling to power, our precious democracy is a reflection of our Canadian values and is guarded by the bravery of our soldiers on foreign soil and our police and peace officers at home.

Our Freedoms Have a Price… That Has Been Paid By Many

No where was this more clearly demonstrated than last week when we saw the smooth transition of power as the newly elected Trudeau government was sworn into office. In the words of one of our country’s most respected and candid political commentators, Rex Murphy:

We often remark how lucky we are to live in a country that enjoys so easy and tranquil a yielding of power by one government and the assumption of power by another. There is nothing lucky about it. CBC

In this video clip, Rex eloquently demonstrates how our democratic rights are inexorably linked to the sacrifices of our armed forces. So on Remembrance Day, we take the time to remember their sacrifices.

Remembrance Day Should Be Given Its Proper Due

We pause in our busy lives to remember what really matters and we are not too keen to jump into the material aspect of the following Holiday Season:

A recent Sensors Quality Management survey of 500 people found 78 per cent think [Christmas] decorations shouldn’t go up until after Remembrance Day. Toronto Star

In Flanders Fields…

So when you see the red poppies on Remembrance Day, or any other day of the year, remember the famous words of the Canadian military doctor, Major John McCrae, in the poem he wrote for the funeral service of a young Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, killed on the front lines in 1915 near Ypres, and now echoed by the free and innocent voices of school children around the world:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

1st Stanza of “In Flanders Fields” Greatwar.co.uk

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