Remembrance Day is almost upon us, and with it comes the time to reflect.
Remembrance Day began at the end of the First World War, as a means of remembering all those who gave their lives to defend our great nation. It is often said that the hostilities of that war ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which is where we get November 11th from.
I spoke with some Loyalist College students on this topic, and the theme of reflection seemed to be quite prevalent in all their answers. For Nicholas Smart, 21 of Cloyne Ont., it is about more than just the past.
And while looking at our progress is a rather fresh approach to a day that is all about the past, we can not forget that the past is whats most important here. We must never forget all the heroic men and women who gave their lives, or whos lives will never be the same after experiencing the horrors that often come with war. And this can hit especially close to home for those with family members who were either in the military or are in the military now.
This rang true for both of my interview subjects, but especially so for Matthew Cassidy, 22 of Quinte West. Not only does he have siblings who are in the process of joining the military, but he also had a grandfather who served in World War 2. Cassidy said that this “really gave the whole day a lot more relevance.”
Along with remembering wars of the past, I’m sure we all have at least one memory of a remembrance day parade or assembly that we attended as a child, and it is something that you often remember in vivid detail. It is something that even as a child, with a lower capacity for truly understanding what is going on, that we will always remember, not just visually but also emotionally. For Cassidy, who took part in an essay/poem contest for Remembrance Day as a child, it is a memory that will stay with him for life.
And as we become adults we must continue the tradition of being involved in this day. We must continue to contribute to the community on a day of need such as this. We must remember.