Last year at this time I wrote a simple post about November 11. It really didn't say a lot. It gave the simplest of explanations about what the day means to me and to most Canadians that I know. But this year, it's different. Remembrance Day is more than just wearing a poppy and taking a moment of silence. It should be a day of celebrating the people who served and continue to serve, those who protected and continue to protect, those that take the biggest of risks and continue to do so. Canada may not have a large military, but it is a proud one that has a rich history of stepping up when others won't. I am proud to be a Canadian and I am prouder still of my own military history (no, I didn't serve, but I have relatives that did and one lost his life and a famous and tragic plane crash) and I am most proud of my friends who are serving right now. Without these people (whether you agree with war or not) we simply couldn't have the freedom that we have or enjoy the lifestyles that we do. So this past Remembrance Day I wore the red poppy that the Canadian Embassy donated to Canadians and other Commonwealth members at my school and I taught my students that it's not just a flower; it is a history, a sacrifice and a reminder. One of my little girls piped up saying that she knew why the poppy was red, when I asked her what she meant, she said it was red because all those people died and their blood left their bodies and coloured the flowers so that we would remember. I don't know if I could have understood it so well at 6 years old.
So, thank you Canadian service members and service members around the world for what you did in the past and what you continue to do.
This is the original site of the plane crash that took my great-grandfather's life in war time. His marker is there.
This is my great-grandfather who served and lost his life tragically in service. I am proud of him and his contribution.