On Remembrance Day, we remember the men and women who have served our country in times of war. We are asked to spare a moment of silence for the sacrifices made in the name of freedom, so that we can live in peace.
What’s more, this Remembrance Day, we must ask ourselves:
What kind of Nation do we want to be?
Furthermore, I urge you to reflect upon yourself:
What kind of person do you want to be?
Every time you let someone else define you.
Every time you negate a commitment that you promised to appease.
Every time you make a choice, you become a newer version of yourself.
We all do. In a democracy, we shape our society the way that we shape ourselves – with our choices. Each choice is a brick in the foundation of the home we are building for ourselves, and our families. The morals that define us as individuals are woven together through communities, towns, cities and countries to create the status quo.
Today, more than ever I feel grateful to be Canadian. And with that gratitude, comes a sense of purpose and a sense of responsibility.
Many of us are lucky that most of our knowledge and experience with war is derived from Hollywood movies – romanticized with heroes of the war who come home to find themselves entangled in love triangles with Kate Beckinsale and Josh Hartnett.
On this day, we often like to recite John McCrea’s In Flanders Fields, but today, I also want to recall the lyrics of John Lennon’s famous song Imagine:
“You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will be as one.”
More than 2.3 million Canadians have served our country in an effort to preserve a way of life that values inclusion and embraces diversity. Our commitment to these virtues has earned us influence and respect throughout the world.
This Remembrance Day lest we forget who we are as a Nation. A Nation whose Indigenous peoples, years ago, brought total strangers in from the cold. A Nation who rose up and prevailed at Vimy Ridge, and again at Juno beach and Normandy. A Nation that has produced heroes like Laura Secord and Major-General Roméo Dallaire. We may not be perfect, but what matters most is that we humbly remember our past with dignity, and we constantly strive to be better.
This Remembrance Day, let us do more than remember – let us honour those who stood for love, kindness and compassion by being messengers for peace.
The soldiers who fought for our freedoms were ordinary people who made extraordinary sacrifices. You may not see yourself as extraordinary – but every time you spread kindness – every time you reject fear and stand for something – you are. You are making an extraordinary difference every single day.
That's our motto here at The Duke of Ed. Make a Difference. Because we know that when we each do our part, we can create something beautiful. We can, and we will.