This Remembrance Day felt a little different than years past.
To be sure, the ceremony was much the same, honouring those Canadians that took up arms in defence of country and principal, and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedoms.
Still, there was a special poignancy this year as the thoughts of many attending ceremonies across Canada, turned to two young soldiers, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, and Patrice Vincent, who lost their lives in the performance of their duties, killed not in battle, but as symbols.
It’s 95 years since the first Remembrance Day was held, marking the end of “the war to end all wars.” But war didn’t end with the First World War, it continued on, as it has through all the ages of man. How tragic that almost a century after we started to solemnly mark it, we are still adding names to the long list of the fallen.
It’s a thin line between glorifying war and remembering and honouring those who fought in war.
That’s why the poppy is such an important symbol. It focuses our attention on the sacrifices made by the soldiers, the blood spilled on foreign soil.
Remembrance Days are often fittingly grim. We gather in the dark and cold of oncoming winter, to pause, reflect and honour. Unlike other holidays throughout the year, this isnʼt a celebration; itʼs a reminder that sometimes sacrifices have to be made to defend the freedoms Canadians hold dear, or to correct injustices.
And, especially we gather to remember the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives fighting for our freedom. Ask yourself what the world would be like without their sacrifice.