With the numbers of surviving Second World War veterans becoming fewer with each passing year, it is more important than ever that we share the importance of Remembrance Day with younger generations.
I have had the honour in my life to stand with some of the men and women of the Second World War at many Remembrance Day and Flag Day ceremonies (Victory in Europe held May 8 each year) and I have felt the emotions they still carry all these years later.
The sight of men, bent with age and burden, snap to attention, backs once again straight and strong, stand and salute at the sound of the bugle or war plane is enough to bring a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye.
It becomes apparent to those witnessing the ceremony that we are mere bystanders.
These men and women shared a time in their lives that was a necessary but terrible experience. For those of us who were yet to be born, we owe these men and women a great debt of gratitude for their sacrifices so we could have freedom from tyranny.
I have listened to stories told by the soldiers who lived it and observed the deep grief still present from that time.
For some, the memories and grief have stayed until they are set free from this earthly world.
It is why we must instill in our younger generations the meaning of “Lest we Forget.”
We must honour those who fought for what we take for granted each and every day, so we don’t repeat mistakes from the past and so that the grief carried on our behalf was not in vain. Lest we Forget.
– Barbara Bleiler is a certified funeral celebrant and is also advertising rep for the Grand Forks Gazette