I will remember World War I. It began in central Europe in 1914 and in my home city of Ottawa, this is how many families experienced the loss of a loved one:
CBC: click here to view this map online, with interactive links.
I will remember World War II. My grandparents lived through this time. It is impossible for me to imagine the turmoil, fear, and grief that they must have all experienced. But I will remember.
Children living in war. United Kingdom, 1940. U.S. Information Agency. Creative Commons license.
Factory workers. 1939. Creative Commons license.
Mass grave. Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp. 1945. Source: US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Bombs dropped on a section of London during the blitz. 1940-1941. My grandmother, who turns 90 this year, lived in London during the War.
Since this time, my father, brother, and uncle have all proudly served in the Canadian Forces. I can’t imagine the courage it takes to sign yourself up to serve your country. But I remember that they did so.
I will remember the men and women who have served in wars that were not “world” wars, but certainly wars nonetheless. Living and experiencing war must scar a person deeply. I remember those who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. 2002.
Taylor Morris, quadruple amputee. Photo credit: Todd Dodd.
Canada is known has a peacekeeping nation. I am proud to be Canadian, and I haven’t forgotten these men and woman. I’m grateful to all those who have served in our peacekeeping missions.
I’ve always been terrible with remembering dates. History was never my strong suit in school. But on November 11th, we all need to recall our country’s history and remember those who have given their blood, sweat, and tears to create the democratic, free country that we live in.