On Friday, Remembrance Day ceremonies will be held at cenotaphs across the country as a way to honour those who fought and died in past wars.
The tone of these ceremonies is sombre, with laying of wreaths and two minutes of silence in honour of those who have served and those who have died in military action.
Throughout Canada’s history, more than 2.3 million Canadians have served and more than 118,000 have died in service to this country. Their service includes the two world wars in the 20th century, the Korean War, the First Gulf War, the conflict in Afghanistan and numerous peacekeeping missions over the years.
Each of those who died in service deserve to be remembered as people who were loved and cared for by family members and friends.
Of those who served and were able to return home, some had or continue to have lasting injuries. Others returned home shaken by what they had experienced.
Remembrance Day is not a time to celebrate past battlefield victories and heroic measures. Rather, this is a day to reflect on the high cost of war.
The effects of war become even more noticeable when one considers civilians who have been injured or killed because they were living in war zones. In addition, some have been forced to flee as refugees because their homes and their countries have been devastated by warfare.
These stories have played out in past wars in the 20th century and earlier, and are continuing in other parts of the world today, including Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine and other countries. Conflicts, some of them lasting for many years, continue to take a toll on those affected.
The Remembrance Day ceremonies on Nov. 11 are a time to consider once again the terrible cost of war.
— Black Press