How I Remember

On the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month, Remembrance Day Crosseswe stop in silence and remember. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, as Remembrance Day this year proved to be especially poignant for Canadians. Crowds at the nation’s capital witnessed the rededication of the National War Memorial to include all who have served Canada. The country’s grief for Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was felt in the very place where he was shot and killed less than three weeks ago. Ottawa police estimate the ceremony drew crowds of 50,000, while most years see approximately 35,000 people. But those who gather at the National War Memorial are not the only ones who remember.

Remembrance Day WreathThis year, our MPs voted by an overwhelming majority in favour for Nov. 11 to become a statutory holiday across Canada. When I heard this on the news, I thought our veterans would be quite pleased since a national holiday would be the proper way to honour them. Yet, a CTV News story described a Second World War veteran who prefers a different type of honour. Harry Watts said he believes many citizens would treat Remembrance Day as any other day off. For him, two minutes of silence to pay tribute across the country would mean more than a national holiday. He wants us to remember.

Every year at 11 a.m. on Remembrance Day I reflect and remember those who have sacrificed their lives for peace, justice and liberty. I think about the freedoms in my life. I have the privilege to live in a country where I feel safe, I can look forward to every day and I’m close to the people I love. I owe my freedom in large part to men and women who did not live to experience it. I remember them because I’m thankful. And I remember them because they deserve to be remembered. Their lives ended far too soon, but their memory can live on through us — the ones for whom they sacrificed so much and yet will never know.

Written by

Aneta Tasheva is a writer, marketing specialist and photographer. Her mission is to encourage people to care for the environment.

3 Comments to “How I Remember”

  1. Serge Lokshin says:

    Darling, this is a great blog post on the significance of Remembrance Day. It’s very well written and conveys the intrinsic values that we all need to cherish. It doesn’t need to be something overly complicated, but remembering the people who fought for our freedoms and paying our respects is the least we can do. Dedicating a few minutes of silence and reflection to those who served and gave up so much for our country is important. We take far too many things for granted or simply don’t consider how lucky we are to experience our everyday liberties. Reflecting, remembering, and honouring the individuals who placed everything in the belief that freedom is the highest obligation is definitely worth our time. Thanks for highlighting the value of Remembrance Day and what it means to you. Truly inspirational.

  2. Ivanka Gotcheva says:

    I totally agree with Harry Watts. Another statutory holiday is good, but it does not mean ALL the people will REMEMBER. For most of the people it will be one more day off, one more shopping day … For sure lots of people even will not know why they have this day off.
    I remember back home, in Bulgaria, the two minutes of silence to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives for peace. It was not a statutory holiday, but at 12:00 pm all the sirens in the cities and small towns across the country start howling at the same time and the live stops for 2 minutes. Nobody is moving. At this short time you bow down and sure enough remember all the people who gave their lives for us to be free and happy. I think we need this here, in Canada, too. Only then everyone will REMEMBER and will be thankful.

    • Serge Lokshin says:

      Vania, you raise important points and I completely agree with your views. It would be ideal to have Remembrance Day as a statutory holiday in Canada. I think it’s about educating people more so they understand what the day is truly about. This would raise awareness and get more people involved with the deeper meaning of Remembrance Day, rather than treating it as simply another day off. We owe it to the memory of the people who sacrificed so much to remember, be thankful, and show our respect for their actions during exceedingly difficult times.

      We must never forget the true significance of Remembrance Day.

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