War is a hideous thing.
It’s hard to remember the many horrific experiences our veterans have gone through, or even focus on the many wars and conflicts taking place as we speak.
What’s not hard to focus on, though, is the underlying reasons why we, the human race, have always fought throughout history.
Not the many brutal reasons our governments choose to go to war, but the reasons why we, the people, choose to.
All our current and historic veterans, soldiers standing up to corrupt powers in Ukraine, the everyday citizens marching and dying in the streets of Iran right now.
All the millions of others in conflicts that barely make the news.
Everyone ultimately fights for the same reasons.
We fight to protect our families, friends, neighbours, and freedoms.
Over and over, these are proven to be the things worth fighting for.
And the courage people show time and time again while fighting for these values is beyond remarkable, and awe-inspiring. It’s truly a miracle.
If there’s anything worth focusing on this Remembrance Day, it’s these small and large acts of true bravery and compassion, not just the big battles. It took courage for veterans just to step onto the boat.
From stepping onto a landmine-filled battlefield to taking your voice to the streets. It takes courage to care about others, to not ignore a fight.
This is what we encourage you to do this Remembrance Day.
Conflict can awaken the raw humanity in all of us.
So this Remembrance Day, we encourage you to focus on this humanity. Go to your local Remembrance Day Ceremony, but don’t just take a minute of silence.
Connect with all the humans there. Learn from them, honour the sacrifices they’ve made, and ask them what gave them the courage to fight in the first place.
Examine your own history, and find just how many heroes it took for you to stand with us all here today.
“Learning about the role our ancestors played in World Wars can provide many of us with a personal, poignant link to the Remembrance Day commemorations and help us understand how the conflict shaped our families’ lives,” said Lesley Anderson, a family historian, to Capital Daily.
We promise, if there’s a story to be told, one passionate human has made a history blog about it.
Most of all, take some time to remember that this is not all in the past. The biggest part of honouring all our soldiers, dead and alive, is not to let their lives—and what they fought for—be ignored.
Some battles may be done, but the greater war they’ve all been fighting in is far from over. They were fighting for peace, and although we have come so far, we’re not there yet.
Take the time to reflect on all the values they’ve given parts of, or their life in its entirety, to protect.
Learn about all the many fights for peace, safety, and equality for all that are continuing everywhere.
Once you have learned, remember the courage that every veteran has shown. Don’t let the ship sail without you. Take that first step.
Find the innate courage in yourself and show the true passion and love that makes us human.
And remember, no Canadian Remembrance Day is complete without hearing the words of “In Flanders Fields” by WW1 soldier John McCrae.
“Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow. In Flanders fields.”
Remember, don’t sleep.