Remembrance Day in Canada is a big deal. Having lived in Canada for just over four years, it’s been interesting to note that holidays aren’t as big of a deal here as they are in the States. Sometimes it seems that holidays are more an occasion to have a long weekend rather than celebrating the holiday itself. Remembrance Day, though (known as Veterans’ Day in the States), is a whole other matter. It is one of the few days that is actually celebrated across the country.
As I was sitting in my kids’ school assembly today for Remembrance Day, I was taken by the realization that Canadians across the country would be observing similar ceremonies and services throughout the day. There is a lot of emotion and pride attached to this day. The neat thing, though, is that most, if not all, of the day is focused solely on those who have fought and or sacrificed on behalf of freedom. It wasn’t about ME and MY freedom. It was about THEM–those who fought and sacrificed and the ones who continue to sacrifice… Remembrance Day is truly about remembering. It’s about remembering the cost that has been paid and continues to be paid by individuals and families for freedom. It’s about paying respect and honor to others. It’s about pausing, even for a moment, and thinking about something other than ourselves and our agendas.
I think all of us would benefit from doing this sort of thing more often… counting the cost, honoring the sacrifices of those who’ve come before us, putting aside ourselves for a moment for the sake of remembering… Lest we forget.
Check out this music video that appropriately portrays just how important Remembrance Day is in Canada: