Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

November 11th, today is Remembrance Day or Veterans Day. It marks the end of World War I in 1918. Previously known as Armistice Day, it is now a day for remembering, not just those of the two World Wars but all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Every year, I stand in awe and gratitude of those who were brave enough to defend the land I walk on. Brave enough to fight for freedom and liberty. This year was no different. Along with many others, I will never be able to comprehend the choice these courageous men made between 1914-1918 and again in 1939-1945.

There are people in more recent years who have taken to the battlefields when freedom and liberty has been threatened since 1945. People who have fought and lost their lives. There are people who are still out there, fighting for a better world. I have a great amount of respect for those people and their loved ones. I cannot begin to imagine the amount of strength and courage they must have.

It is important to remember them. Those people who stood there, and who are still standing, in the face of great danger and put their lives on the line. It is important that we, the people who owe so much to these brave soldiers, take the time out of our days to pay our respects to them. We should not taint this day with arguments about the colour of the poppy people should wear. It is not about the colour. It is the understanding that those around you wearing a poppy, whether it be red or white, are all remembering and acknowledging the sacrifices those men and women made in the hopes for peace.

To all veterans, I say thank you. Thank you for your valour when fighting the forces of tyranny. Thank you for fighting to give me the freedom I enjoy today. But I also say sorry. I am sorry for everything you suffered. For everything your family suffered. I am sorry that everything you fought for and died for has been given up so easily. I am sorry that we did not guard the gifts you fought so hard to give us.

To those who wear the uniform and perform their duty all over the world today. I also thank and apologise to you.

Today, on the 11th day, of the 11th month at 11am, I took to my feet and bowed my head in 2 minutes silent gratitude. I recited the words from Ode of Remembrance. I hope you all took the time out of your busy lives to think about bold these people.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Lest we forget, lest we forget, lest we forget…


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