It’s been 94 years since hostilities in the First World War ceased and armistice was signed.
As we all know, it wasn’t the war to end all wars. Just a few years later, there was the Second World War. That was then followed by Korea, the Cold War, Kuwait, Afghanistan and numerous peacekeeping missions.
But while the bloodshed has continued, the significance of the lives lost cannot be undervalued.
It is because of those valiant men and women that we live in the Canada that we take for granted today.
Not only are we able to elect our governments, but more importantly, we can openly challenge our elected officials. In some nations, such actions lead to prison or death sentences.
We are able to worship in our own way, or not worship at all. Police don’t set up roadblocks when residents take to the street to protest oil pipelines or other issues of concern.
Turn to A9 in today’s paper and read the letters to the editor. There are so many countries where such a seemingly simple act is not possible.
All of this is largely possible because of the sacrifice of our valiant men and women who went to battle. Many never saw their loved ones again, and for those that did, life was never the same because of physical and emotional disabilities.
Remembrance Day isn’t about glorifying violence but paying tribute to the human spirit — the ability to overcome the darkest of odds. Democracy is fragile and worth fighting for, and our veterans laid down their lives for that ideal.
We would urge all of you to attend today’s ceremonies throughout the North Okanagan or to at least stop for a moment’s silence.
We shall remember them.