Canada often seems to be thought of as a peace-keeping country. Or a country that sits on the sidelines.
However our soldiers have also made the ultimate sacrifice.
In 1914 we were not even yet a country, still just a colony. By 1918 we were on our way to becoming a nation. With a population of only 8 million we still sent over 600,000 men and women to join the fight in World War I.
That was just the beginning. Canadian soldiers have been a part of many major conflicts the world over. And yes they take part in peace-keeping efforts as well.
Remembrance Day is the day that is "officially" set aside to remember our soldiers. Please take a moment to show your respect for them no matter, both those that were lucky enough to return home to their loved ones and those that made the ultimate sacrifice. Even if you don't agree with war, a particular war or just war in general. After all these are the men and women that put their lives on the line so that you have the privilege of living in a free country.
The symbol of Remembrance Day is the poppy: image of poppy found online
Some say the poppy is the chosen symbol because it's red. And we were it on our chest to remind us that the people that go to war for us are real people. And that they bleed. The truth is that while the poppy was chosen to commemorate all soldiers it is the symbol of a horrific battle in the spring of 1915. In Ypres, in a poppy field, there were more than 100,000 Allied casualties. And in less than 48 hours 60,000 Canadians gave their lives.
To the 152 Canadian soldiers that will not be returning from Afghanistan, and to all our men and women that have served at any time in the Canadian military, I thank you, I honour you and I remember you.