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Friday, April 19, 2024
Editorial: Take time to remember

The mournful sounds of The Last Post.

Rhythmic footfalls of veterans and cadets, marching to honour the past.

Heartfelt, tearful tributes to men and women who fought for their country.

Young and old, and in between, paying respects as a nation stops to acknowledge and to say thank you.

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

The sounds of silence, everyone alone with their thoughts. Lest we forget.

As crowds gather over the coming days at cenotaphs and war memorials across the country, we once again will take a few moments to remember the fallen, those who literally gave their lives fighting to protect the freedoms that we enjoy today.

Freedoms we too often take for granted – or worse, seldom stop to contemplate. Remember that.

We need only look around our world, where upheaval, war, terror and insurrection roil many countries to this day.

We are fortunate to live here in Canada, shielded and protected from most of the problems that plague so many other corners of our world. Yes, we are lucky. Remember that.

However, being lucky does not diminish the fact that war could again rear its head.

As the aging veterans of the Second World War leave us, we must continue to ensure successive generations know and understand the sacrifices they made.

But, also, it remains our job to continue to educate them in an attempt to make sure peace triumphs over conflict. Remember that.

There is plenty to be hopeful about and it is heartening to see the work of veterans groups, the Royal Canadian Legion, teachers in our schools, community groups, families and others keeping alive the legacy of those who went before.

Over the next several days, there will be numerous opportunities to publicly show your respect and thankfulness for what our veterans did. Take time.

For you, it could mean wearing a symbolic red poppy, attending a Remembrance Day ceremony here in NOTL or elsewhere, or simply interrupting your own busy existence to take a break from the hustle and bustle.

Take time to contemplate, understand and appreciate how a generation of soldiers, many still in their teens, went off to foreign lands to fight a brutal war that is beyond the understanding of most of us today.

Many of those young soldiers never returned. Take time – and remember them.

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