November 11th is Remembrance Day here in Canada. It is a day when we pause to remember the brave soldiers who paid the ultimate price to fight for our freedoms. Today, we often take those freedoms for granted. Remembrance Day commemorates the ending of World War 1. The war officially ended with the signing of the armistice agreement. It was signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. So, every year on Remembrance Day we pause for a moment of silence at 11:11 am to remember those who served and are still serving.
The poppy is a symbol of remembrance and donations received are used to support veterans. The poppy is a sacred symbol. It should only be worn from the last Friday in October up until Remembrance Day. Thereafter, it should not be worn, although it is allowed to be worn to another commemorative event or to a funeral for a veteran or fallen soldier. The poppy should be worn on the left side over the heart and should be treated with respect.
Although there are only a few remaining veterans from the great wars, we should never forget their sacrifices. Many of the fallen were just teenagers or barely out of their teens. They fought valiantly to preserve the way of life we have come to enjoy. Many were killed and many were physically wounded. However, there were also many who had no visible scars but the mental and emotional ones were just as devastating.
Thanks to the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve to protect us, we have the freedom to do many things. That freedom came at a price and we owe it to them to not let that sacrifice have been in vain. So, as you go about your daily lives, strive to make the world a little better than you found it. Be kind. Be fair. Be honest. Be patient. Be just. Most importantly, be brave…like those soldiers were.
Lest we forget.