Monday, November 7, 2011

Make Time to Remember

Sunday morning began a week of Remembrance in the Town.

The warm and glorious weather made the commemorations the best ever for the annual Sunday-before Remembrance Day tributes. The beautifully coloured leaves still on the trees reminded us of our season.

The idyllic autumn morning felt peaceful and serene. It felt like the perfect example of freedom, of promise, and of individual choice.

The weather made it feel so far from the ravages of war. It felt so far from oppression and from tyranny. The twin-prop airplane we heard overhead in Ridgeville was for recreation, not a vehicle of war or destruction.

And yet, Pelham residents took time to gather with members of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary, the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, and others at the Cenotaphs at Centennial Park, Old Town Hall, and Peace Park to commemorate and remember the sacrifices of Pelham’s Veterans.

As we approach Remembrance Day on Friday, it is right to remember those brave men and women who have served, and who continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace.

We honour them for their courage, their commitment, and their devotion to Canada.

They served our country and gave their lives so that future generations might have democracy; so that each of us might enjoy safety and security. They sacrificed – and those in active service continue to sacrifice – so that our society upholds justice and the rule of law.

The freedoms that so many of us might take for granted – to express ourselves, to participate in cultural, religious, and political activities, to come and go as we please, to pursue a safe and happy life – are all due to the sacrifices of Veterans and those who follow in their footsteps today.

They sacrificed their futures so that our future might be one of peace and of happiness.

The men and women of the Canadian Forces are fighting still, for these same principles today. Indeed, it is right to remember their sacrifice and determination on Remembrance Day too.

The names and the sacrifices of some of those from Pelham that were killed in service and in battle are engraved on the cenotaphs throughout our Town and at Veteran’s Park; may they also be engraved in our minds and on our hearts.

This Friday, on Remembrance Day 2011, let us take a moment at 11:00 AM to be grateful and to rededicate ourselves to peace. And let us never forget.