I was struggling to find the right words to mark Remembrance Day… and then an email from Elizabeth May arrived that captured almost exactly what I wanted to say.
It helped crystallize my own thoughts and I’ve included the original (with a few adaptations) below.
On Remembrance Day, I remember and I am grateful.
I am grateful for my peaceful existence and all the small joys that come with that. I am grateful to live in a land where I am free to live as I choose. I am grateful to be able to walk my dog to the nearby cenotaph, to remind me to always remember and be thankful.
I am grateful to all the men and women who protected my freedoms. I am grateful to all those who serve now. I am even more grateful to those who lost their lives in pursuit of peace and while defending our liberties. I am grateful to their families and loved ones.
I am grateful that I have not been called upon to be that brave. I am grateful that members of the armed forces are strong enough to carry us along with them.
I remember and I am grateful.
Adaptation of the Green Party Statement on Remembrance Day
November 11th is a day to remember that soldiers die believing they serve for a reason, a noble cause; that their service is to defend, to liberate.
Women and men of the military are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and we owe them our respect and gratitude. November 11th is a time for national reflection.
We remember those who gave their lives willingly.
We remember the shattered lives of soldiers who return wounded not only physically, but psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.
We remember that the sacrifice comes from not just a single soldier but their entire family and often an entire community.
We remember how easy it is to begin a war but not to end it. There is no such thing as a short war–the effects of violence remain long after the last shot is fired.
We remember the sacrifice of those who work for peace and to end violence.
We remember that violence does not happen just between nations but spreads through entire societies and permeates our way of thinking.
On November 11th we remember, with gratitude.
On November 11th, we remember and hope that war will be no more.