Hundreds of people gathered yesterday downtown Windsor to salute the nation’s fallen heroes on Remembrance Day. This was not a day off from work, this was simply a day of saying ‘Thank You’; the public display of patriotism was amazing: from the bright red poppies hanging onto the veterans lapels to the tiny hands of the school children holding tight little Canadian flags.
For those of us born in peace, all wars seem so far; war is just something we read about or see it on the news. Our closest experience is maybe knowing someone’s grandparent ( if not our own) who would show us photographs or old medals or diaries from a distant time and a faraway land.
We often take for granted our values, our freedom to be part of any social, cultural, political event we want, and our right to live the way we choose to live. But by remembering our veterans, by remembering those who have lost their lives in wars, we recognize the tradition of freedom these men and women fought to preserve. They believed that their actions in the present would make a significant difference in the future, and it is up to us to ensure that their dream of peace is not only a dream.
Yesterday, we acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of those who served their country and acknowledge our responsibility to never forget and work for the peace they fought hard to achieve.
Freedom is not free. Remembering that, and remembering those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, is what Remembrance Day is all about. And above all saying thank you for the peace we have in our lives.