A heading image of poppies growing in a sunlit meadow.

It's been 102 years since the armistice was signed, ending the first world war. 102 years. Think about that. Think about the history your family has made in that time frame. Think about all the moves in each generation: each loss, each gain, each joy and each pain. Really and truly reflect on all of it. What do you feel?


What does Remembrance Day mean?

For most of us, Remembrance day is a day off of work. We maybe go to a community church service, or we maybe just wear a red poppy on our chest while we go on with our lives. For most of us, it's just a day.  We sit stiffly for an hour to respect those who are old enough to actually remember the horrors of war...but we can never truly grasp the concept of this day. 


And perhaps..perhaps this was the goal. We've reached the point in time that people, over a hundred years ago, gave their lives for. Their goal was to give their future loved ones a safe, free place to live. Their goal was to protect the land and ideals that their fathers and mothers worked for. We've reached a point in time where the majority of us have never faced the ugly side of humanity. We are free to live and free to work. We are free to love, and free to speak. Remembrance day has become a day of remembering the past for this generation, not a day to remember our fallen peers, as older generations have observed. So perhaps, perhaps this was the goal.


That being said, our older generation is still here. Even those within our own generation have gone to fight wars overseas, though they are fewer in number. Our veterans. Even though we cannot fully understand the concept of remembrance as they do in this age, we should stand beside them. Our silent presence beside them is a small act of gratitude. We acknowledge their achievement, and we acknowledge their scars. Can we do more?


Practicing Gratitude

Yes, we can do more. Refer back to the opening of this post. As we recall things we can fully understand, like family, we can appreciate the fact that we HAVE family. We can appreciate that we HAVE family history. We can appreciate that our families CAN continue because of people like our veterans. In this way, our reflections on this subject are the real reason we can say thank you to a veteran and mean it. We realize that their sacrifice wasn't only for their family, but for families all over Canada.

Furthermore, just because wars have ended for our veterans, doesn't mean they have finished fighting. Each day is a new battle they face on mental soil. Our thanks to them can be given through mental health support, either directly or indirectly. Directly, being that if we know one, we can physically be there for them. Indirectly, being that we can do more to financially support veteran mental health programs. 


We can do more than just remember today. Our gratitude can be the vehicle we use to help transport our veterans on their road to recovery. 

Lest we forget.





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