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A Poppy to Remember


They lived. They loved. They laughed. They served. They sacrificed. They died.

On the days leading up to November 11, we remember them and honour their sacrifice and service by wearing a poppy on our left side, close to the heart. A simple gesture really, but one filled with much symbolism and emotion. Many of us have no first-hand experience of war or armed conflict, but by wearing a poppy we are united in our gratitude to Canada’s Veterans and in our collective remembrance of those who shall not grow old.

Veterans know too well the price of our freedom with permanent physical and emotional scars.

Others never returned. To them we owe a debt of remembrance, to carry on the memory of their sacrifices and to appreciate the values they fought and continue to fight for.

Thanks to a veteran who didn’t have a choice in his or her assignment, I am able to do a job I love and if I didn’t, I have the freedom of choice to look for one that suits me better.

Thanks to a veteran who endured battle conditions, fear and uncertainty, my workplace doesn’t involve guns, tanks, armour, or a daily reminder of my mortality.

Thanks to a veteran who experienced the extremes of conflict and cruelty, I am warm and protected.

Thanks to the families of veterans who sacrificed sons, daughters, mothers or fathers to defend

Canada and others in times of war, armed conflict and peace, I am safe.

I will remember:
•South Africa War (1899-1902) Approximately 7,000 Canadians served; almost 300 of them gave their lives.
•First World War (1914-1918) Approximately 650,000 Canadians served, including members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served with British forces (Newfoundland was a colony of Great Britain until 1949) and merchant mariners. Of this number, more than 68,000 gave their lives.
•Second World War (1939-1945) More than one million Canadians and Newfoundlanders served in Canada's Armed Forces, in Allied forces or in the merchant navy; over 47,000 of them gave their lives.
•Korean War (1950-1953) 26,791 Canadians served in the Canadian Army Special Force; 516 of them gave their lives.
•In the Service of Canada (as of March 2015) Approximately 1,800 Canadians gave their lives in service to their country, including peacekeeping and other foreign military operations, domestic operations and training, since October 1947, with the exception of those commemorated in the Korean War.

According to the Veterans Affairs Canada website, the estimated numbers of Veterans as of March 2015 are as follows:
•Second World War: 75,900; their average age is 91
•Korean War: 9,100; their average age is 83.
•CF Veterans (Regular Forces and Primary Reserves): 600,300; their average age is 57.

It is our responsibility to keep their legacy and memories alive. Take the time on November 11 to recognize and honour our Veterans who have served and sacrificed on behalf of all Canadians.
Remember them.

With gratitude and appreciation …thank you.





by Iris Chrol    11/9/2015


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