One of the greatest fears held by veterans of the world wars is that their sacrifice will be forgotten as time passes.
Dwindling attendance at cenotaph ceremonies on Remembrance Day belie the ongoing memory projects undertaken to preserve the sacrifices made by thousands of Canadian soldiers on battlefields far from home.
Students from John Barsby Community School visit graveyards and place white crosses on the final resting places of soldiers who fought during the wars. For students two or even three generations removed from the wars, visiting the graves provides an instant connection to their history lessons.
Memorabilia, from medals to letters from the frontlines, is preserved and on display at the Vancouver Island Military Museum, cared for by veterans and volunteers. The group has a new home in the former Nanaimo Museum site to expand and display its vast collection.
Veterans also have the opportunity to preserve their war-time experiences with the Memory Project, an initiative of the Historica-Dominion Institute. As fewer veterans are able to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies every year, the race to record their experiences becomes more important.
Despite the best intentions, some memories, the ones too horrific and terrible for the soldiers to repeat, will be lost.
With soldiers returning from new battlefields in Afghanistan, the memories and stories will continue.
People are finding their own ways to honour veterans for fighting for the values our society holds dear. That might just be the best way to ensure we never forget.