A Glimpse Into The Past – Hope For The Future

Written by: Jessie Tylre Williams
November Issue

A sea of red, with a black center placed throughout the fields amidst a perfectly shaped flower, these poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their exuberant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

As I sit here ready to write another monthly article in our Soldiers Corner, I contemplate on who or what I should write about as there are so many people to honour and pay tribute to. Then it dawns on me that yes, there are so many. Fathers, Daughters, Brothers, Sons, Sisters, Mothers, Aunts, Uncles and who they are to you, that have paid the ultimate price to stand in the fore front, spill their own blood and rise to battlefields and wars that have consumed not only our Nation but the entire world. A lot of them never coming back home the same again, if even at all.

War for a lot of us is something we will never be able to fully comprehend or be able to fathom in its entirety. What we know about these battlefields for the most part is something we have read in the newspaper or have possibly watched on television, maybe even through the Internet or on social media platforms. For some of us, looking only at these war zones through the lens of a camera and never fully being able to grasp the harsh reality of the terror, the heart wrenching blood baths or the sight of having to watch their brothers and sisters blown up in front of their eyes. Our closest reality and tangible access to any of this can usually be found in a trunk or chest hidden somewhere in our Grandfathers cellar or attic that a lot of us are not privy to.

We may have the privilege of sharing photos or seeing plaques, hanging metals or memorabilia positioned throughout the house as though they belong to someone from a completely different life than the one you have been a witness to. A stranger, a drifter perhaps, an actor in a movie, but it's a hard reality for us to imagine that it is one of ours who has lived that life and went to that dark place. For those of us born during peacetime, all war seems so far away and removed from our daily lives that it is hard for us to imagine anything else than how we know it. We live in a Country where our freedom is something we have grown up with and been accustomed to our whole lives, so it is easy to take this for granted and to forget how lucky and blessed we truly are as a Nation. We often take for granted our Canadian values, our freedom to participate in cultural and political events, and our right to live under a government of our choice. A government chosen by us, the Canadian Citizens.

Through all of this it surprises me that only one day out of the year is set aside to honour these rare and exceptional souls. One day out of the year to pay tribute to all the lost souls that have reached their capacity in this place we call life. "Lest we Forget" is not just a phrase for one day or one month, it truly is a statement made to ensure we do not forget where we are today because of the sacrifices made throughout history for our FREEDOM.

When you meet a soldier, reach out your hand, say thank you for your service and pay homage to the one(s) that have allowed you to live in a peaceful Country and given you the ability to voice your rights and freedom. Recognize the tradition of freedom these men and women fought to preserve.

On Remembrance Day, and every day, we acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of those who have served their country, who are serving now and acknowledge our responsibility to work for the peace they fought so hard to achieve. So many of those that have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. So many men and women that need to be remembered and acknowledged for the service they gave.

I now know today that I see a light for peace and freedom for all because of what they did for us. Thank you to those who have paved the way in blood for the ultimate gift to us – Our FREEDOM!

For a list of Soldiers gone but not forgotten please visit: Fallen Heros page