Be thankful for our freedoms

On Nov. 11, people across Canada, and in many parts of the world, are asked to take a moment out of their day to honour the brave individuals who protect our democracy by serving in the armed forces.
While many of us will never know first-hand the sacrifice those brave men and women have made, each and every one of us has enjoyed the freedoms that have resulted from their bravery and commitment to democracy.
Each October, we celebrate a bountiful harvest when we mark Thanksgiving. To me, Remembrance Day is democracy’s thanksgiving: where we honour those who have and continue to serve to preserve the freedoms we enjoy as Canadians.
That moment of silence is a moment of reflection, and it is an opportunity to ask ourselves the very simple question: what am I thankful for?
Too often we allow ourselves to forget that many of the freedoms we enjoy—and often take for granted—would not be available if it were not for the brave men and women who fight to protect and enhance them.
Each day I’m thankful for the opportunity to speak freely and openly on behalf of those who elected me to the Legislative Assembly. It is because of our veterans, and those currently serving, that we are able to actively participate in the legislative process.
While we sometimes express our frustrations with the system, or the decisions being made, the fact is many people across the world simply cannot fathom the idea of a free election or the ability to speak their mind without fear of being jailed or executed.
We often forget there are countries where women cannot vote, drive, or work and where children not only are denied an education, but can be forced into slavery and prostitution or used as child soldiers in armed conflicts.
Not only do we, as Canadians, not have to worry about these injustices, but we often forget that the brave men and women of our military are working to improve these conditions in countries across the world.
There are many children, particularly young girls, who have experienced the opportunity of attending classes as a direct result of the work of Canadians serving abroad.
In Canada, we enjoy much in the way of freedoms thanks to the efforts of the brave men and women in our armed forces.
This Nov. 11, I once again will ask myself, “What am I thankful for?” I encourage you to do the same.
Thank you to those who have made freedom possible.