As I look around at the faces gathered at the Cenotaph each year on Nov. 11, I observe a sea of solemn faces on both the adults and children who are present.
Remembrance Day is a solemn occasion for many reasons, one being that it is a time of reflection. We all think about the veterans who fought for Canada, and of those who died. We silently thank them, but do we honour the legacy they fought for and left us?
They fought for Canada and if they didn’t volunteer, they went willingly to do their duty. And although they may not have gone to war with the intention of dying in battle, to defend their country – and tbeir families – was a cause worth dying for.
There aren’t too many causes worth dying for. And what did they die for? Perhaps for reasons we could not begin to fathom.
But the most apparent legacy of their sacrifice was what we call “our way of life.” And regardless of what you consider to be “our way of life,” it is based upon the foundation of our form of government, which we call democracy.
And by democracy, I am referring to the collection of people from among ourselves whom we elect to speak for us in a central meeting place, such as a legislature or a house of parliament.
Forget for a moment about all the complaints you have about our system of government or individual members of it and just look at the overall picture. It provides structure so that we can live peacefully. We don’t have to fight for our daily bread. We can expect our police and our military to protect our basic rights.
This is what they died for. And how are you honouring their legacy? Are you upholding “our way of life” by participating in every election? If you see flaws in the government, are you working to fix them? Will you fight to make sure that everyone’s rights in Canada are upheld equally?
Be thankful that our veterans fought to protect Canada and uphold our values and our way of life, and be active in maintaining it.
Otherwise, we toss away their sacrifice.
Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal