Remembering those who protect our freedom

November 9, 2018

100 years ago, the armistice was signed and the Great War was finally over. 16 million men and women had paid the ultimate sacrifice, including 61,000 Canadians. Another 138,000 were wounded in battle. For our young nation, the war was a defining moment, with Canadian troops playing key roles in important battles like Vimy, Passchendaele and Ypres. In fact, the Battle of Vimy Ridge is often hailed as the “birth of a nation” when describing it in a Canadian context, and last year, we marked the 100th anniversary of the famous battle.

Remembrance Day is an opportunity to remember the cost of the Great War, and of all conflicts that Canada has been a part of. It is a chance to remember the sacrifices that our brave men and women in uniform made, standing up for our values and our freedom.

It is vital that we remember to respect and honour our veterans every single day, not just on November 11th. With this year marking the 100th anniversary of armistice of the First World War, we especially remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice during those courageous battles.

This year, communities across the country, including here in Banff-Airdrie, will mark this anniversary at sundown by ringing the Bells of Peace, working in conjunction with their local legions. From St. John’s to Victoria, these commemorative ceremonies will follow across the country as the bells toll a hundred times to mark the Great War’s 100th anniversary. For more information on these ceremonies, you may visit the Royal Canadian Legion’s website here.

This year, in addition to attending Remembrance Day service in Cochrane, Exshaw, and George McDougall High School in Airdrie, I will be attending the Bells of Peace commemoration in Canmore at the Canmore Anglican Church. This event will provide a somber opportunity for Canadians from coast to coast to honour the heroic sacrifices made by our troops during the First World War.

I encourage all residents in Banff-Airdrie to spend a moment in reflection on Remembrance Day, whether it’s through attending a local Remembrance Day ceremony, the Bells of Peace event, or taking time to observe two minutes of silence at 11am to reflect on the values which were bravely fought for by our men and women in uniform.

Lest we forget.