The spectre of war is far removed from Canadians today.
We get glimpses of it on the History Channel and read about it in books or online, but most of us can only imagine what it was like to fight in a war.
But the reason that war is a dim memory is worth celebrating.
Remembrance Day marks the signing of the Armistice on the 11 th hour of the 11 th day of the 11 th month of 1918. It ended the First World War.
The day also helps to honour the sacrifices made by Canadians who fought in the Second World War, the Korean War and as peacekeepers in dozens of locations around the globe.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, things will be a different this year on Nov. 11. Remembrance services have either been cancelled or limited to public officials and members of the Royal Canadian Legion. But there will be some commemoration.
Yet the best commemoration comes throughout the year. Remembrance Day finds expression in the things Canadians take for granted.
It finds expression in our freedom to worship as we choose, to work where we choose, to live where we choose, to vote as we choose, and to read and think and speak as we choose.
For the vast majority of the world those freedoms don’t exist, at least not fully. Not in China. Not in many parts of the Middle East. Not in parts of Africa. And there are pockets in this hemisphere, Cuba and some smaller nations in South America, where those freedoms don’t exist or are restricted.
The freedoms we enjoy were secured by a bloodstained price. Canadian men and women lost their lives on foreign soils so we would enjoy those freedoms.
And it’s also important to remember that men and women throughout Europe and other parts of the world suffered as enemy tanks rumbled through their communities, killing their neighbours, burning their towns and villages, and destroying their homes.
With the help of Canadian soldiers, those people were able to reclaim their homes and communities – and their lives – from forces that sought to take them away.
And by helping to reclaim the freedoms that were threatened in Europe and elsewhere, the multitude of freedoms we enjoy were secured.
To be sure, the cost of those freedoms was high. Indeed, you can’t put a price on it.
And so even as this Remembrance Day will be different because of the pandemic, the high cost of freedom is something that should never be forgotten.
– Postmedia Network