MLA REPORT: A time to reflect

Remembrance Day is about honouring those who have served, and those who continue to serve, in combat zones across the world

Greg Kyllo

Greg Kyllo

Every year at 11 a.m. on November 11, we pause for two minutes of silence to reflect upon the sacrifice of our soldiers, sailors and our air force personnel – all those who have fought for our country, those who have cared for and supported them, and those who have died in the line of duty.

Remembrance Day is about honouring those who have served, and those who continue to serve, in combat zones across the world. It’s about ensuring that we never forget those whose names appear on our cenotaphs and memorials, or carved on headstones in foreign lands. It’s about recognizing those unknown soldiers whose final resting places cannot be found or marked, and doing our part to ensure the memory of their valour lives on.

Each year brings with it certain milestones to remember, of conflicts long ago as well as those recently concluded. Beginning in 2014, we started marking 100th anniversaries of the First World War – the conflict that was so pivotal in solidifying Canadian identity on the world stage, as our soldiers became known for their courage and success in battle. In 2016, we commemorated the centennial of two major battles, the Somme Offensive and the Battle of Verdun. We also marked the second anniversary of the end of our active operations in Afghanistan, the largest deployment of Canadian Armed Forces personnel since the Second World War.

It has also been two years since we saw a direct assault on uniformed servicemen on our home soil, when Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo were killed within days of each other.

Their deaths serve as a strong reminder that our hard-won freedom must never be taken for granted, even while we are fortunate to live in a country where most conflict remains confined to regions far away and times long ago.

This Remembrance Day, let us honour all those who have fallen in service to our country, and show our support for those who made it home.

One way to show our support is by purchasing a poppy from the Royal Canadian Legion during its annual Poppy Campaign; all proceeds from these sales go toward supporting our serving and retired Veterans and their families.

I also encourage you to attend a memorial ceremony in your community, where you can join your friends and neighbours, fellow Canadians, in observing the customary two minutes of silence to show respect and gratitude for those who have shouldered the burden of responsibility to protect our country, keeping Canada strong and free.

Greg Kyllo is the MLA for Shuswap.

 

Vernon Morning Star

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