Remembrance Day means something different to everyone.
Neither of my grandfathers fought in the war. My papa Stewart (the only grandpa I’ve ever known) was a farmer and therefore he was exempt from war. I remember when I was younger watching kids in my class cry at Remembrance Day ceremonies because their grandfathers had fought in the war. I was always curious about their emotions and their families because I did not have that connection.
For me, Remembrance Day is a time for me to give thanks for those who fought for me to be a Canadian. I am very appreciative of living in this country. We are so lucky. I attend a service every year to give thanks to those who fought and to give myself time to reflect on how I feel to be Canadian. But sometimes it’s hard to explain what being a Canadian means. Peter Mansbridge shed light on this matter when I attended an Encounter with Peter Mansbridge at the Convention Centre on Friday night.
Mansbridge told 3 stories about what being a Canadian meant to him and they all revolved around our nature to care. One story stayed with me and had special significance as we approach November 11th.
Mansbridge was in the Netherlands in 2005 on the anniversary of D Day. There was a celebration of the soldiers and these men that are now in their 80s walked amongst the crowds. And there was one mom who held her 4-year-old child on her hip, and he gave high fives as the soldiers walked by him.
Mansbridge went up to the child and his mom and asked why she would bring her 4-year-old child to this event. She said so he’d know what a Canadian was.
It’s import to be thankful and as our soldiers grow older we cannot let our gratitude fade out. We must continue to teach others what they’ve done for us.
Lest we forget.