Every November I take a moment on the 11th to remember. No matter where I am.
Every November, I buy a poppy.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a few people ask me why I wear one. Mostly friends who are new to Canada and don’t know about Remembrance Day.
I struggled to come up with the words to explain, because the reasons are never-ending. And it’s not so easy to put my feelings about Remembrance Day into words.
I wear a poppy because it is a visual sign that I will not forget those who have made sacrifices, and especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
I wear a poppy for those who are currently serving all over the world.
I wear a poppy for my ancestors who never made it home.
I wear a poppy because as a child, every November, I sat in the school gymnasium listening to poems, stories and watching videos, learning about the history of the world. A horrible history, that is forever burned in my memory and brings tears to my eyes. I wear a poppy because I will never forget. Because remembering is the only way to avoid repeating history.
Wearing a poppy is not a support of war, but a small act of remembering and respecting those who never made it home, those who never saw their loved ones again and those who live with the scars of war, both visible an invisible.
In 3rd grade, my class read “In Flanders Fields” at the school Remembrance Day service. We worked hard to memorize it, and to this day, when I take a moment of silence, I repeat it quietly to myself.
No matter where you are in the world, sacrifices have been made to protect you and allow you to live the life you have today. I hope that today, you will also take a few moments to pause, be grateful and remember.
Lest we forget.