Today is Remembrance Day.
The day when we take time to stop, and remember all of those who have protected our country. I often hear stories from my friends, talking about their grandparents, or great uncles etc, who served in the Canadian military. I always felt upset because I couldn't share a similar story. My Grandpa never went to war. And thankfully he is still alive (86 years young!) and such an important part of my life! He makes the best beans and sausage!
But I felt like the odd kid out, who couldn't take pride in her grandfather. So I finally asked my Mum why my Grampa never went to war. And I know it sounds funny, but my he never went to war because he is Mennonite, and Mennonite's believe in social justice and peace, and non-violence. It all made sense, and I understood why my Grampa had never been to war. Acknowledging this information made me realize why I am passionate about things, like non violence, gun control, anti-military, pro peace. It had never occurred to me before that so many of my strongest beliefs, things I believe to my very core were shaped by my grandparents and the thread that ran through my family. I am proud of my family's non-involvement in world-wide conflicts. Most importantly I'm proud that my family stood up for what they believe.
I am thankful to those who have made the choice to join the armed forces, like my cousins who are members of the US Air Force and Army. They are both SO young, I pray that they will never be called into combat. I am thankful for those who go to places far and wide, to serve their country. And I am thankful for those who, like my grandparents, stayed at home, to work, to farm, to support the economy, to pray, and to welcome the soldiers home. On this Remembrance Day remember all of those who fought, who resisted, who succumbed, who survived. Thank you will never be enough.