Freedom isn’t free

District residents joined Canadians from coast to coast today in pausing at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of our nation’s values.
Perhaps because of the current conflict in Afghanistan, where news of Canadian casualties sadly is replayed far too frequently, a new survey by The Historica-Dominion Institute found that two in 10 Canadians planned to actively observe Remembrance Day this year—up from 16 percent in 2008.
While that’s nice to see, it’s troubling to realize that 80 percent of us did not.
Granted, not everyone can attend a service at the local cenotaph due to work commitments and such. For that very reason, a nation-wide campaign called “Take Two Minutes to Remember” was launched which urges Canadians to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. each Nov. 11 to reflect on the men and women who gave their lives so we can live ours in peace and freedom.
It is the very least we can do to remember them.
But honouring our war dead should not be limited to Remembrance Day. Think about the young boy or girl growing up without a dad the next time you can’t be bothered to vote in an election. Think about the mother visiting her son or daughter in a cemetery when you close your eyes to injustice or intolerance. Think about those who have to carry on without their spouse if you take for granted our right to sign a petition, write a letter to the editor, or gather together to rally for a cause.
We must remember each and every day that freedom isn’t free—and ensure that message is passed down to future generations.