Remembrance Day. It’s a day to pay tribute to our very own super heros. These fearless men and women did not wear tight, brightly coloured outfits. They did not don capes. But some did fly… and all of them fought.
It can be quite disheartening to live in a society where super heros are more well known than our own soldiers, than our navy, our air force and our medics. There are thousands of people around the world who wait with baited breath for the release of the newest super hero movies. Many even line up for hours to be one of the first to see the new films, sacrificing a day at work or even time with family.
These figures are not real. They are a figment of someone’s incredible imagination and yet they are more well known and, sometimes, more well respected than our real heros. Our veterans have actually saved real lives, sacrificed their own and risked everything to bring peace.
Over 66,000 of our Canadian countrymen were killed in World War 1 and in the second World War over 45,000 never made it home. The Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France is dedicated to the Canadian soldiers who fought in the great war including the 11,168 brave men and women who were never found or identified. These people are not to be forgotten and these losses are not only in the past. It is estimated that 130 Canadian soldiers have lost their lives in an effort to keep peace all around the world.
These men and women showed bravery, compassion, strength, hope, determination and resourcefulness in the face of some of the greatest terror and horror ever recorded. They lost comrades, were injured, faced death on a daily basis and were separated from family with nothing more than letters and yet they persevered and brought hope and victory to not only our own nation but the entire world. And for many, one of the hardest trials would begin on their return.
I’m not saying don’t love super heros. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. I just wish two minutes of silence wasn’t such a chore for some people. These brave souls deserve our respect and they definitely deserve our silent contemplation and compassion.
Photo credit to imma @ morguefile.com