It is cold today. Winter has arrived with blustery force dropping temperatures into the negative realms of double digit cold.
We are going to the Cenotaph at 11 this morning. We will bundle up and cover up exposed skin so we can stand with others to honour those we must not forget. We are going to pay tribute to those who fought for the freedom we all take for granted in this land of richness where thoughts of war are relegated to other places somewhere on the planet. Where guns blasting and bombs exploding do not darken our every step or haunt our sleep.
“It’s cold out,” my critter’s mind whispers. “Why not just honour the fallen from the warmth and safety of your home?”
“Because it is not just for the fallen I go,” my heart replies. “It is to stand in honour of those people around the world today who do not have the choice. It is to say “I see you. I do not forget you.” And while I cannot end the battles raging around them, I have the power to stand up for peace and make my voice heard by those who do have the power to create peace in war torn lands. They must hear our voices calling out for the guns to stop, for the wars to end and for peace to reign for all mankind.
I could never have been a police officer, I told C.C. the other night as we watched a movie. I could not go running towards danger while everyone else was fleeing.
I would have wanted to live another day. Not to fight or protect, but simply to enjoy the pleasures of a sunrise, a walk in the park, a peaceful day at home.
This is the freedom their sacrifice gives me. This is the freedom I get to take for granted.
For the men and women of our armed forces, for those whose hearts were stilled on battlefields around the world, on peace-keeping missions on foreign soils and while standing on guard at a war memorial in our capital city, I will stand in silence at the foot of the unknown soldier in a city park today and honour their sacrifices.
I will stand in silence for the first responders who run into danger to keep us safe, for those who have lost their lives while saving mine and others, for those who patrol our streets and keep watch over our sleeping houses, I will bundle up and stand in silence at the Cenotaph this morning.
It is the least that I can do so that they will know, I see you. I do not forget you. And I thank you.