Canadians once again will pause at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to solemnly remember those who have given their lives so that the rest of us can live in freedom.
Sadly, but inevitably, the number of veterans who parade here each Remembrance Day will be reduced again this year as time marches on. But even as the faces—and memories—of those who served so bravely in both world wars and the Korean conflict slowly fade away, the reason why we pause every Nov. 11 cannot be allowed to die.
That’s especially true in 2002 because the threat to our freedoms, values, and ideals is as real today as it was 60 years ago during the dark days of the Second World War. And once again, we are calling upon our fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters to be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice once again.
Just in April, Canadians from coast to coast to coast felt the anguish of bringing home our war dead when four soldiers with the Third Battalion of the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry were killed during that “friendly fire” incident in the desert of Afghanistan.
And in fact, the mother of one of those soldiers, will be this year’s Silver Cross Mother at the national Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa.
Unfortunately, with a new war against Iraq brewing, not to mention the ongoing war on terrorism, the prospect of burying more Canadian war dead is very much real. Which is why the true meaning of Remembrance Day—remembering the human cost of war—must never be lost.
Lest we forget.