Remembrance Day is approaching. Veterans are stationed throughout the community with trays of Poppies, and people are making a donation and pinning them to their lapels.
I have noticed over the past decade, now that we are several generations removed from those who went overseas to fight in the World Wars, or whose loved ones served overseas, that there is a shift in attitude toward this annual observance.
Please note that I called it an “observance”. I have heard people complain that we should not “celebrate” war, and we are not doing so.
We are observing a time of remembrance; recalling the sacrifice of those who went willingly off to foreign lands, uncertain of what they would be facing, or if they would return, but determined to do their part for King (or Queen) and Country.
I certainly understand how attitudes have shifted in more recent times, as Canada became involved not in “world wars”, but in smaller conflicts that do not appear to directly affect us here at home.
But then, when we have become complacent that such conflicts are occurring “over there” in some far-away land, and have nothing to do with us here in Canada, we are faced with the ugly reality of a terrorist attack.
And while we may not agree with our Government’s decision to send troops on these missions, we must recognize that our military has no say in the matter.
Whether it is to assist our neighbours and allies in defending themselves, or — in the euphemistic terms used by the Government — to identify and neutralize potential threats from various terrorists groups, our military’s duty is to go where they are sent, and do what they are trained to do.
Unfortunately, there will still be those who pay the ultimate price for their loyalty and service.
So, for a short time in November, I believe we can set aside our differences of opinion on whether military operations are justified, and whether or not war is ever justified, and simply pay our respects to those who made the ultimate sacrificed that we might know freedom here in Canada, and who attempted to bring freedom to others around the world.
It is all too easy for us to take our freedom for granted.
That freedom comes with a price.
Lest We Forget.