Tomorrow is Remembrance Day, when we pause to remember those people who gave their lives in various conflicts to preserve the lifestyle that we enjoy in our society. This is one of those traditions that tends to be devalued a little with time, as the number of people personally touched by those wars decreases, although recent events mean we Canadians are perhaps a little more aware!
I grew up in England and my dad fought in World War 2, from beginning to end. As a child I remember hearing stories about his experiences as a tank gunner … most of the stories were light hearted and more about he and his buddies, alcohol, women and fighting with “the Yanks”! There were those, more rare, moments when he talked about the sheer terror of battle, and some of the friends he lost.
I spent seven years in the Royal Navy and I think anyone who has a military background can appreciate what our fathers and their fathers did in those great wars. War is always ugly, whether it was World War 1, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan … but the people that fight there do it for the right reasons, they believe that they do it for their country and they deserve our respect. Giving that respect is not condoning the politician’s choices, just the sacrifice that individuals make for us.
They were somebody’s sons and daughters, husbands and wives, they were ordinary and extraordinary … and they gave their lives so we could have a good life. They were mostly young people and they are still dying today, in far off places under terrible conditions.
Take a minute and remember them tomorrow!