By Camille Aubin

For many, Nov. 11 is an observance and a tribute to those who died in the military service of our country. The cenotaphs will be covered with flowers brought by people who come to have a moment of silence in front of these monuments filled with history, all wearing the symbolic poppy.

Canada’s Veteran’s Memorial Park across the country will be the setting for a less crowded service than usual, even though this year marks the 100th anniversary of the poppy. Several of the usual events of that the Royal Canadian Legion here in Invermere have been cancelled or scaled back for the general public due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including scaling back access to the Cenotaph for the ceremony (invitation only) that will take place.

Even so, as the clock strikes 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month, everyone is invited to pause and think about those who served in the military; no matter where they are.

Now is the time to contemplate the sacrifices of those we remember today. They have much to teach us about the true meaning of responsibility, honour, uprightness and courage in the face of adversity. And also, to comtemplate the freedom for which they fought, and for which some lost their lives.

The freedom to think; to love; to make one’s own choices; the feeling of well-being and security; to defend ourselves; to choose our own path. 

This is the important and precious legacy they left us a long time ago. A gift that is often taken for granted. As citizens of a free and democratic society, there are so many things we have to be thankful for. So many left our country to defend liberty for generations to come. It is our responsibility to remember every day and forever that the way we are living today, this great freedom that we have and enjoy daily, has been paid for with the ultimate price, that of all the sacrifices, small and big, known and unknown, suffered and made by the soldiers who served our country.

Lest we forget.