This morning, I gathered at the cenotaph in our downtown alongside citizens and school children, teachers and politicians, veterans and cadets.
We stood on frozen ground, snow swirling and settling on and around us as we paid tribute to those who gave their lives for the freedom we enjoy.
We stood to remember soldiers who
Marched through frozen fields,
Trudged through mud and mire,
Sloshed through putrid puddles,
Slept terrified in trenches
Some to awake no more.
We stood to remember those who
Stood on porches, at railway stations, and airports to say good-bye.
Stood forlorn in the battlefields amid the devastation.
Stood broken over dying comrades.
Stood in sorrow over unmarked graves upon their return.
We stood to show our gratitude to those who still withstand the aftershocks of war—those who returned and live with its endless echo.
We stood solemn remembering the price paid to purchase the peace we enjoy in Canada as a result of their sacrifice—the cost inconceivable.
The mothers whose sons never returned, the widow and her children, are well-acquainted with its cost.
May we never forget nor take this blood-bought freedom for granted.