Remembrance Day: How Do We Say Thank you?

Lest We Forget

Every November 11th, we wear poppies, we attend ceremonies at cenotaphs across the country. We observe a moment of silence in honour of those who served our country. Many gave their lives so long ago, so very far away from home. Veterans and their sacrifices are given the spotlight at this time. They and their fallen comrades are so richly deserving of our thanks, praise, and the deepest respect we can give. I wonder though, how can we really ever say thank you?

Canada's finest

Canada's finest

From the time I was a young boy; I would see the men with the medals, holding the poppy boxes. We were given poppies at school to wear; in the younger grades, I don't think we really understood why. As we got older, we began to slowly understand. The thing was; as we got older, so did the men with the poppy boxes. Now as an adult myself, I don't really see those older men anymore. Now, its younger men, or air/sea cadets etc.

Last week; coming out of the grocery store, was a man with the poppy box. He was a younger man, probably younger than me. I put some money in the box and took a poppy. He thanked me. I felt uncomfortable with him thanking me. So, I made sure to look at him and give him a big thank you. Its always been like this; veterans thanking you for your donations. Make no mistake, its us who should be thankful!

The fallen, those who came back, and their families; may never realize the gift they have given us. Speaking as a child of immigrants: my great grandparents, grandparents, and parents all came from Italy. My family was given an opportunity to come to this great country of ours, and start a new life. We can never say thank you enough.

Maybe; saying thank you means giving back, rather than taking. Doing your best every day to make a positive contribution to society. Making sure we can hand over a strong and free Canada to those that come after us. This way, we ensure that all those sacrifices were not in vain.

On November 11th, take a moment and remember those who made it possible for you to enjoy the life you do. Wear a poppy, go to a Remembrance Day ceremony, maybe even thank a veteran personally. Its the very least we can do.

May God bless the fallen, veterans, and their families.

Cenotaph-Memorial Park, Oshawa, Ont., Canada

Cenotaph-Memorial Park, Oshawa, Ont., Canada

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