(11 November 2010)
Remembrance Day 2010
On the 11th hour of the 11th day, of the 11th month, we remember. On Remembrance Day, we honour the brave Canadian men and women who were called upon, and answered that call, to protect our country. We watched with overwhelming pride as they left their home, and their homeland, for an unknown world. Many of us cannot even imagine the horrors these courageous Canadians endured. We have heard about the battles, the fighting, the bombing, and the bloodshed. But, we do not truly know. For many, life ended on the battlefield – with honour and selfless sacrifice. Others survived and returned home to the open arms of their loved ones – grateful and forever changed by their experiences.
We often take for granted our Canadian values and institutions, our freedom to participate in cultural and political events, and our right to live under a government of our choice. The Canadians who went off to war in distant lands went with the knowledge that the values and beliefs enjoyed by Canadians were being threatened. By remembering their service, their courage and their sacrifice, we recognize the tradition of freedom these men and women fought hard to preserve.
In November, many commemorative ceremonies will take place across Saskatchewan to recognize the achievements of our Veterans and honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice. As our Canadian Forces members return home from missions around the world, we must celebrate the commitment made by all service men and women and their families.
It is difficult to capture Remembrance Day’s true meaning and importance with only words. It is a time when you can only really appreciate that meaning by the feelings in your heart. One man, among many, truly captured the triumph and sorrow of those who fought for freedom. He put those feelings on paper as he sat in Flanders Fields. Canadian John McCrae marveled at a beautiful sight – thousands of red poppies blowing peacefully, freely in a field that had once been the sight of a bloody battlefield.
“We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved, and were loved, and now we lie in Flanders fields.”
It is because of these touching words that every year, a chilly November brings these flowers to life and warms our hearts. We proudly wear the symbolic red poppy, as we remember the brave men and women who risked their lives so that all Canadians, and all future generations, could live in a land of freedom and peace. We may not wear the poppy at all times, but we will never forget the sacrifice they represent.
To all of those brave men and women – we remember and honour you. Let us never forget.
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