Thursday, November 10, 2011
Remembrance Day 11/11/11
This is always my most treasured day of the year. In fact, there really isn't a close second.
As a kid, I grew up as the son of father in the Military. They call us Base Brats. I grew up on bases and stations in Canada and in the United States. I grew up in a time of peace, when the Cold War was coming to a slow halt. I never have known war personally, and have only seen it in the eyes of those who have suffered loss.
The fact that I have never known war is a testament as to how fortunate the continent of North America has been in the past 150 years or so. Standing with our American brothers, and being part of the British Empire, Canada has a long history of being a country of peacekeeping. On other days in the calendar year, the Americans revere certain days of importance to them, and it shows. However, on November 11th, you see Canadians in every form take this day very seriously, and I love that.
This fills me up with such a wonderful pride that it completely moves me to tears.
Canadians have long had a generalization for being quiet, polite, and nice. We are mostly comprised of a middle class majority, and we live a wonderful life of comfort that very few countries in the world could ever dream about. We may not be a military or economic superpower, yet we live like one every single day.
And this all comes with a cost, and the cost of freedom is indeed a heavy one to bear.
So on this Remembrance day 2011, you will see crowds of Canadians quietly making their ways to churches, cenotaphs, town and city halls and sit in silence for 2 minutes, to reflect on why it is that we have these choices to live our lives the ways we choose to live them.
Do you want to worship any God you choose? Do you want to be able to express yourself as a human being, and voice what is important to you without fear of the consequences that church and state could have on your life? Do you want to choose which way you will rear your family in the values you see fit? Pick any career, and not even think about having to be controlled in any manner. Does have the right to peaceful demonstration and assembly, and hold your elected government accountable sound great to you? These are but a handful of important freedoms that we enjoy that are a rarity in the world in other countries. Do you know that?
If so, take 2 minutes out of your day on November 11th to show it amongst others who feel the same way.
I love my country. I love the fact that I feel safe and secure, and free to build any future for myself and my family in any way I choose. I may not agree with others in their beliefs which don't share mine, yet I am always committed to their freedom to express it in any peaceful way they choose because that is a truly wonderful gift.
It's actually SO wonderful that most of us take it for granted because it has always been this way, and we have never actually known anything else. And yet every Remembrance Day that I walk down to a cenotaph to pay my respects to the countless known and unknown people who paid for these freedoms, I carry that knowledge and appreciation of extreme sacrifice which was paid in the face of fear and tyranny. All of this burden wears heavy on my soul. -To think that a small person such as me has had such a wonderful gift given to me before I was born, and maintained by those who are commited to see that every generation has the same gift.
And that's why I love my country. I love Canadians. I love Americans for being so passionate about their freedoms and defending our ways of life. And if you took the time to read my blog, I want to thank you for your commitment to this cause. It says the world about you and the type of person you are. You are to be commended for your love of freedom and compassion that every individual living in our country has the same rights and freedoms without bias or prejudices.
And for this, I will always be eternally grateful for the gift that cannot ever be repaid.
Lest We Forget.