On the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the guns fell silent on the battlefields of Europe. In the span of four short years twenty million lives were lost, ten million of which were innocent civilians. Of the 424,000 Canadians sent to the front, most of which were young men in their twenties, less than half returned physically unscathed. Many still would live the rest of their lives with untreated mental illnesses brought forth by the horrors of war.
Canadians have been known from the First World War and beyond for our tenacity and valor in combat. We have fought for freedom, liberty, and democracy in battles from the Western front to the Middle east. We liberated millions of people from the Netherlands during WW2 and forever tied bonds with our Dutch brothers and sisters. Outside of war, Canadians have served in peace missions from Rwanda to Bosnia, and assisted in disaster relief from the Red River in Manitoba to the Himalayan mountains of Nepal.
Forever memorialized are these great men and women in our history. A history we must all actively pursue to forever keep alive and remember. Lest we forget. From the Woodstock Museum to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. All across Canada there are great exhibits and tributes to our fallen that are open to the public. As well, Canadian artists have historically taken inspiration from conflict. Start your journey by reading “In Flanders Field” by LCol John McCrae which is attached as a link at the bottom; Or by listening to the great Canadian military tribute songs “Highway of Heroes” by The Trews, and “A Pittance of Time” by Terry Kelly. (provided as links below)
Each year on this day at the eleventh hour we pause and remember the sacrifices made for our sovereignty, our prosperity, and our freedom. We all owe a debt that we can never afford to repay to the brave men and women who have answered the call to defended our freedom, both at home and abroad. So I encourage all of you to take some time today at 11:00am and pause and reflect on the sacrifices made for our way of life.
“Highway of Heroes” by the Trews can be found at the link provided here
“A Pittance of Time” by Terry Kelly can be found at the link provided here
“In Flanders Fields” by LCol John McCrae can be read at the link provided here