To Those Who Have Served

  • Growing up I always equated November 11th with Remembrance Day, wearing our poppies to school, in honor and remembrance of those who had given the ultimate sacrifice during the World Wars.  The moments of silence meant to reflect on those who secured freedom after giving their lives during times that most kids then couldn’t fathom.

I remember as a little girl but not understanding the faces of war- of civilians who experienced it, those who lost, and those who came home from it.  During those wars, sacrifice was given, and yet those who fought weren’t the only ones who sacrificed.  Those who remained gave so much to help the fight against evil. Hearing stories from my aunts and Nana of the things that changed once Canada had entered the war, of shortages and war efforts, and it was a hard but freely given sacrifice.

Growing up with images from my youngest memories of the end of Vietnam when masses of “Boat people” came to the west, (Canada and the US) not having a clue of what the Veterans of that war came home to- but as an adult and learning, hearing stories of shame, ungrateful and hateful words which have been ingrained in the minds of too many who gave so much more than any of us can imagine just still tears my heart out.

I remember seeing blasted barracks of Lebanon, hearing about downed helicopters in Mogadishu, and some far off islands- Falkland, and also Panama and Bosnia. Places I’d never heard of before, and I can only imagine many who fought in those places had never heard of them before either.  Then there was Iraq and the invasion of Kuwait. Most folks know it was then my plans of coming to the US were almost set, and my parents were afraid for me to go.  The armaments and troops build up, brought fear to people on this side of the world of another Vietnam, and wanted no part of it. But so many went.  I knew that the Americans would get it done, and within months, it was.

And yet, my generation still knew some times in between of peace from rumors of war.

Not so with our younger generations who were born around 2000.  Again the Middle East met the West in a way that shook many awake to things they’d never thought of before.  Names they may have heard, but never paid attention to.  And so many, even boys I knew enlisted- this was our generation’s fight and they were ready.

So much has changed in our world in the past 19 years, so many… too many American, Canadian and other allied sons have answered the call, and gave their everything for freedom.  And so many are still giving.

I sit here trying to find the words that fit the way I feel, and many feel about this day. Tears welling thinking of those who died, and also thinking of those who continue on.  Thinking of our dear MG and Snake and so many others who have been gone more times than have been home, since I’ve known them.  And thinking of so many I’ve come to meet on the internet, and in life, wondering how thank you can ever be enough to say.

November 11 is one day a year where we who are free, remember and with grateful hearts thank those who kept our freedoms for us and have secured freedom for millions around the world.  It’s a day in which we need to speak- in Thanks and gratitude, but it’s also a day for those who have fought and come home, to think of those brothers and sisters who didn’t make it home.

I can’t help but post the words of our other dear Bam- who knows that which only those who have stepped in the steps, who continue to carry that torch of those who carried it in conflicts past…

11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The heavy impact of those we have lost always coincides with those who still go back month after month, year after year. Those of us that are the first in and the last out. Warriors that have 10,12,14 deployments. While we commend the sacrifices we can’t help but feel the survivors’ lamentation for those that are no longer with us. The people that made our heart pump the most blood. I know Memorial Day honors those that have passed but I guess that you can’t have one without the other. As another year passes and the fight continues, we go back, we find the strength, we find the fight within ourselves. Mean, Snake and I love the positions that we have been granted. The ability to serve, the ability to continue our respective missions, the ability to come home when many did not. I was able to have a three way call with both of them, a unique occurrence We usually do this on Sunday, we rarely get to see each other anymore, but are hoping for a Christmas reunion even if it is overseas. My brothers, I salute you. Brothers that bonds will never cease.never draw to a close even after Veteran’s Day’s will someday be a metamorphosis into Memorial Day.

God bless our Veterans, and those who carry on today. From the grateful hearts of this place, we remain ever thankful for all of you, and you will always matter to us.

Have a blessed and thoughtful Veteran’s Day everyone.

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