Wednesday, November 10, 2004


The 11th minute, of the 11th hour, of the 11th month. A simple refrain to remember, but one steeped in the history of a nation and its people. We pause every November 11th to commemorate those that made the ultimate freedom on our behalf in the past and to give thought to those that serve for us today.

For many the idea of remembering long ago wars seems to be the thing of their parents and increasing their grand parents generation. But yet perhaps it’s the younger generation who most need the touchstone to their past. When one does not take time to remember, we neglect our responsibilities as citizens of a free nation. One built upon a foundation of sacrifice, desire and pride of place.

There’s a fascinating site to explore from Veteran‘s Affairs Canada, where you can learn so much more about the sacrifices made by others on our behalf. Take a tour of the virtual war memorial, enter a name and trace your family’s involvement in the gallant campaigns for freedom, explore the book of condolences, learn the stories, understand their sacrifice. Relive the Italian campaign or the Liberation of Belgium, step onto a beach at Normandy and share in the horror and the eventual victory of D-Day. It's a wonderful compilation of our nations participation in World History and beautiful commemoration of those that sacrificed on our behalf.

There are far too many features to list here and really it is simply a site best explored by clicking from one place to another. But by far the digital reproduction of the Books of Remembrance is one stop all should make. Like the books at Parliament Hill the names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice are listed in alphabetical order, from year to year.

There sadly seem to be far too many names in those books, sons and daughters who left our land at an early age never to return, for them and those that have followed over the years we take our pause.

At the 11th minute, of the 11th hour, of the 11th day, take your moment to remember and thank those that gave us the gift of freedom that we far too often take for granted.

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