This Remembrance Day, we wear our poppies and we remember.
Today (Nov. 11), we remember those who fought for us. We remember those who fought not only for the rights and freedoms of Canadians, but for the rights and freedoms of humanity.
A poppy, a moment of silence, a ‘thank you,’ none of this could ever be enough, but then again, sometimes certain words and gestures can carry infinite depth and meaning. And these sentiments will come all at once today in Canada, from coast to coast to coast, as we stand at Remembrance Day ceremonies with our poppies close to our hearts.
It may be hard for many of us today to truly appreciate the sacrifices made by our soldiers, but when it is time for a moment of silence, we will take that moment to try to remember. If we can’t remember, maybe we will try to imagine, and if we do, our mind’s eye will show us courage and character. We will see the sort of heroes and heroines that the world needed then, needs now, and will always need.
The News Bulletin published a special Remembrance Day section last week, which told the tales of some of Nanaimo’s fighting men and women, their adventures and their exploits, their successes and their challenges, their lives, their deaths. Our veterans tell fascinating, frank, foreign stories, of stuffing powder into bullets, hearing a barrage of buzz bombs, piloting through hostile skies. These are recollections of war that was half a world away then, war that feels even farther away now.
It’s a fine pastime, we suppose, to gather round and swap old war stories. But maybe the best thing about war stories is that they made it possible for us, now, to tell peace stories. On Remembrance Day, let us honour our veterans and look back at those war stories, and then look forward, to peace stories yet unwritten.