T here are those of us who are much to young to know first hand of our brave men who fought and died in the "Great War", the war to end all wars. The year was 1914 when the war in Europe erupted and from Canada many men and women with a deep conviction volunteered to go with the "Canadian Expeditionary Force" to help the oppressed whom they did not know, living in places they had never seen. They were from all walks of life, and their one common bond was to bring peace and freedom back.
I t was supposed to be the war to end all wars, and after four years of fighting, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month it ended. These Canadian Troops were honoured for the bravery and courage that they showed in battles such as Ypres, Vimy Ridge and Passiondale. On these foreign shores we lost thousands of Canadians, some, too young to be there because they lied about their ages so they could go and help. The peace that they fought for only lasted for twenty-one years. Instead of "Lest We Forget" we had to remember the atrocities of the Great War and return to foreign shores to fight for peace and freedom again. Once again many of our loved ones made the supreme sacrifice for those whom they did not know.
I was born in 1934 and grew up during World War II. I know what our men and women and their families sacrificed to bring peace and freedom to people they never knew. My own father served at Ypres, Vimy Ridge and other places like Passiondale. He lived to return home but had been wounded in the trenches. He then joined up for W.W. II and this time served his country in a prisoner of war camp. There were others who did the same as peace and freedom was what it was all about.
A fter this we all hoped that possibly we would not see another war. The families of those who served, were wounded and died all prayed that we would finally have peace. How many mothers and fathers; wives and husbands; sweet hearts and children lost some one just because they believed in peace? However this great tradition was to carry on with the Korean Conflict in 1950 - 53, the Vietnam War in 1963 - 1975 and it continues today as our Peace Keepers deploy to hot spots all around the world.
W e must remain proud of all those who took up arms to defend our country even back to the War of 1812. All these brave Canadians went through hell and yet they did not give up. They held their heads high and gave hell back.
M ay we Canadians never loose faith in our beliefs nor ever forget our brave soldiers who left their families ant loved ones to defend peace and freedom for others. For those who fell and gave their lives may they Rest in Peace and may they remain in our hearts and thoughts every day of our lives.
O n the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month take a serious time to give thanks for those who returned home and those who made the supreme sacrifice. Let us give thanks, not only on November 11th Remembrance Day but every day of the year. "There by the Grace of God" and our Veterans and PeaceKeepers go each and every one of us.
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