Every year when November arrives the thoughts of editorial writers across the land have their thoughts drawn to Remembrance Day.
The thoughts become about what we can write that hasn’t been said about the day and its importance, and the truth is that there is nothing that hasn’t been said in the past years and decades that Remembrance Day has been marked.
But, it remains important that the day is marked in this space again because there is a growing concern that the term ‘Lest We Forget’ may be an all too prophetic one.
One would think that the horrors of the two world wars, the Korean War and a long list of conflicts around the world where Canadian soldiers fought and died would always been keenly remembered, the scars of our nation that will never completely heal.
In a world where a keystroke on a computer can bring tomes of material on the wars past, remembering should be made even easier.
But, in truth the images and stories are often not pretty ones. They are not the kind of thing many want to read about, or see in photographs.
Of course we should remember the impact of those events on those who lived them; dogfights in the skies above Europe, storming the beaches at Normandy, fighting in the cold of Korea and all the other battles that are now names in stories, the veterans almost all lost to time now.
The sacrifices of the dead on the battlefields becoming a fading memory because their comrades that did come home are now all but gone as well.
So it is up to us to make the effort to remember, and editorials to remind to do so. It is the least we can do for those who have given so much.
This year of course it will not be a case of attending the live services. Like so much COVID-19 has meant we can’t gather to remember as a community, but we can still take some time today (Nov. 11), to reflect on what the day is about.
At times we look at our country and think it broken, or at the very least cracked, and of course there are issues here from inequality to too many ‘isms’ to regional differences that divide more than they should, but this Canada of ours is still a great country.
We live with freedoms many only dream of.
We know of our warts and with work we can remove them.
We are allowed to aspire to be better because an earlier generation took up the call and defended our country and the world from tyranny.
So while it might be clichéd it is important to reassert ‘We Will Remember Them’.