My Grandfather’s 50th anniversary Battle of the Atlantic tie, which I wear every Nov. 11
Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. Today is the day when we pause to reflect on the horrors of war and the benefits of peace. We pause to remember those who put their lives on the line to defend us and serve wherever we send them to stand up for our values. As individuals we may not always agree with the decisions made by governments about how our military personnel are deployed. As a country we can all respect and honour those who stand up for the rest of us.
Today I will remember my Grampy who served in the British Merchant Marine throughout the duration of the second world war and survived several sinkings by u-boats. I will remember my Nanny and her sisters who lived in London, England during the war and most especially survived the blitz, including the destruction by bombing of half of the street where they lived. I think of my cousin in England who is terrified of fireworks because they remind her of the bombs that fell on London when she was a child. I think of my great-uncle who likely went down with his ship and was never found. I think of my wife’s great-uncle who was a fighter pilot and survived as a prisoner-of-war in the camp made famous in the movie “The Great Escape”. He was fortunate to have been too far back in the line to escape and as a result survived the war.
I will think of all the Canadian men and women who have served our country in various wars and peacekeeping missions. I think of the veterans who return home with physical and/or mental injuries. I think of those who die by suicide as a result of the injuries suffered during the course of their service. I think of the military families and the sacrifices that they make on our behalf.
Most years I attend the national remembrance service at the War Memorial in Ottawa. This year I will instead be at the ceremony at my children’s school. Last year I attended and discovered a room of hope for peace. Children from all over the world, some of whom have known war and others who have only experienced peace. Together they will sing and speak about peace. They give me hope. I will think of them too and hope for their future.
I will remember, not just today, but all days.