As war has changed in indescribable ways over the last century, the face of our Remembrance Day ceremonies is changing too.
Gone are the veterans of the First World War and ever dwindling are those Second World War and Korean War veterans whose stories are so entrenched in our collective Canadian consciousness.
Yet we must continue to honour and recognize – to remember – those sacrifices that helped define and shape our history and culture.
At the same time, we recognize the tremendous contributions of those who have stepped forward to serve their country and have given much in recent conflicts, in addition to those men and women – husbands, fathers, mothers and daughters – who have helped bring peace to war-ravaged countries around the world.
Our commemoration on Nov. 11 is not about glorifying war; far from it. There is no question that the world would be a far better place were soldiers and armies no longer needed.
However, the reality is that at present, the world is not that place.
And so this Remembrance Day we give thanks to those who have laid down their lives, to those who have left loved ones in Canada to try to do some good a world away, and to those who fought and returned, forever changed.
To those here on the homefront, from Second World War victory gardeners to today’s parents and children who wave good-bye from the dock to today’s Armed Forces members, you too deserve our thanks for what is, too often, a thankless job. We take a moment today to remember all of those sacrifices, and the many more besides.