The years pass and the harsh realities of World War I and II grow ever more faded in our collective memories.
Those brave men and women who fought in the trenches of France in World War I have passed away, their stories lost to family and friends.
And, as the years move on fewer veterans of the second great conflict remain either.
We are losing the final personal contacts to how horrible the wars were, how great the toll was upon an entire generation, those who fought and those who stayed at home fearful of bad news coming at any time.
Sitting here in the Canada of 2019 it is all but impossible to imagine what our soldiers went through.
But, we can appreciate what they went to Europe to do. They climbed aboard ships knowing they might never return because they felt it their duty to fight for democracy.
They laid their lives on the line in the face of enemy machine gun bullets and artillery charges so that Canada and the rest of the world could aspire to the freedoms we now seem to take for granted. They are freedoms earned and protected by the lives of countless soldiers again and again through the great wars, through Korea, through Afghanistan through peacekeeping missions.
Their sacrifices have allowed Canada to become one of the greatest countries in the world, a place where diverse cultures, diverse religions, people of diverse thought, have come together to build something greater than the parts that have gone into it.
There are those who following the recent federal election are spouting rhetoric about western separation, unhappy as they are that their party did not win the election. The tantrum of spoiled children is sad to see in a democracy at any time, but on the eve of Remembrance Day it is all the sadder.
Our soldiers made the sacrifices they did because they believed in our Canada, the one spanning coast-to-coast. The one that has had its missteps and its warts, but is stronger as we are, than we would be in any other guise.
So as we gather Monday to remember our veterans, to collectively protect their memory at services across this region and country, we should also remind ourselves they fought for Canada, not a chopped up remnant some are now suggesting.
Those who made the sacrifice on the battlefield for Canada are owed our peacetime effort to continue to forge a stronger, united Canada, one that overcomes its issues in building a better country for tomorrow.