Remembrance Day: What Does It Really Mean?

In anticipation of Remembrance Day (Veterans’ Day in the US), I thought I would write a short blurb about the significance of this day. The sad truth, however, is that I’m not entirely sure of the meaning we should derive from November 11th. I know Canadian soldiers fought for our freedom and that a great number of them were killed amid their efforts to make this country a better place, but what does that mean for us? What’s the lesson to be learned here? It hit me this morning that maybe Remembrance Day is a reminder that life is short and that we should appreciate everything – and everyone – that we have.

We’ve all lost loved ones, from grandparents to close friends to acquaintances we hardly knew yet missed once they were gone. Likewise, it’s nearly impossible these days to turn on the news and not hear of recent tragedies around the world. They’re unavoidable because they happen so often, and it always feels more personal when the tragedy occurs within our home country. So perhaps this Monday is not only a day to remember those brave soldiers who died for their country in the line of duty, but also to remember our deceased loved ones as well as those around the world who have passed away before their time and/or lost personal battles.

That’s not to say that we should spend the 11th being sad and depressed. Here in Canada, we’ll wear our red poppies (seen above) with pride and feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude and admiration when we think of the courage and commitment of our armed forces. As we do this, maybe we’ll remember to thank our lucky stars for the special people that we have in our lives. Parents, children, significant others, close friends…we’re all so blessed to have them with us, so why not use Remembrance Day as an excuse to remember that?

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