This past week at work, I’ve been blessed to hear some personal stories of grandfathers and uncles who were in World War II. With Remembrance Day around the corner, these stories were poignant and inspiring, focused on sacrifice for a cause bigger than themselves.
Coming from a South Asian background, I’ve always been in awe of these stories from my friends of European descent. My family’s history has been far removed from fighting and bloodshed which makes their stories even more fascinating. But the more I dwell on it, the more I realize that these stories of believing in a cause enough to put yourself on the line is a part of all of our history. As a Canadian, we have a strong legacy of making the ultimate sacrifice to protect lives and values that align with peace.
For me, Remembrance Day isn’t just about remembering those who have gone before us to fight for our freedoms but also the ones who continue to do so today to maintain peace around the world. The world is growing ever smaller and no longer do the challenges of human suffering like wars and famines remain contained by national borders.
I know some of these men and women who are serving in uniform in some of the diciest parts of the world. Amazing people who didn’t have to do this but couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Though I think of them often, there is something powerful about setting aside a day for collective remembrance.
In Calgary alone, there are many reminders of their sacrifice. Take a drive down Memorial Drive and look around. As we lament the war-dead, let us honour their memories through the pursuit of peace and bring every soldier home.
“They shall beat their swords into ploughshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up swords against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.”