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For me, thinking about Remembrance Day began on October 30th this year. It was an ordinary day to begin with, but then suddenly, while listening to the radio on my way to a service call, someone said something that was astounding in its simplicity. It was on October 30, 1945 that the United States government called to an end their shoe rationing program.

I know this may sound pedestrian, this tidbit of information being the catalyst to my thinking about Remembrance Day. However, it got me to thinking about not only the sacrifices made by our brave soldiers in times of conflict, but also the sacrifices everyone had to make during those awful times.

We are a global village. It has never been more true than today. We are connected electronically to each other, enough so that I truly can think of all nationalities as my brothers and sisters. I have spoken to so many through my own blog, and connected to people I never thought I would. It is wonderful how there are so many similarities in our peoples depite our differences,

War, unfortunately, is still happening, and given human nature, probably always will. If you sit back and analyze these wars throughout history, you will see that it is your everyday man or woman or child who suffers most. Soldiers, civilians, families, friends….all people who did not ask to be caught in these skirmishes, yet often doomed by circumstance. So many innocent lives gone, so many families torn asunder by conflicts out of their control.

Remembrance Day is one day among 365 chosen to commemorate our veterans. It is a day for us to reflect their selfless sacrifice so that we may be free. It is not only a day to remember the dead, but also the living veterans who did their duty. It is their day. It is our duty to remember this.

While I understand the well-meaning behind the white poppy campaign, I cannot help but feel a little insulted by the timing. Veterans and red poppies are as much a part of our national Canadian souls as hockey and beavers and saying sorry. Red poppies do not glorify war, it reminds of of the sacrifices of it. Nobody I know wants war. They want peace. They want the right to pursue life without dodging from bullets and ducking from bombs. These are all things earned for us by the sacrifices of others. No matter what the circumstances of these conflicts, the political rights and wrongs, we all know that those responsible rarely pay as great a price as the innocents. These are not the people we commemorate. We remember and honour the ones who sacrificed so that we may not have to.

Put away your white poppies while we wear our red ones. Let us remember as we always have. Let us honour our veterans. Let us honour their sacrifices.

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