The news is on in the background, the air around us is filled with words and phrases like “explosion” and “air strike”, and we continue on with what we’re doing, possibly taking a moment to change the channel to find something more interesting. How often do we think “I’m glad it’s not here”, and dismiss it, moving on to our everyday routine. How often do we give pause to think how glad we are to have an everyday routine which has nothing to do with conflict, oppression or terror? Further to this, what would our day look like if the chaos was outside our door?
This is precisely why we should stop and listen, and why we should remember.
We have learned through recent events involving attacks on our military, as well as offensives launched against the West in 2001, that no one is exempt from the ill-intent of others and that it is not confined to places we never expect to set foot in. Whether these actions are motivated by political turmoil or the sheer madness of those who mask their intentions behind religion, social unrest or some other tool, everyone is vulnerable. Fortunately, there are those who willingly stand in front of us, bravely assuming the brunt of opposing forces. Without them, our lives would be very different, and it is important to not only remember this, but to thank them for making a sacrifice that we hope we will never have to make ourselves.
We thank those of you whose blood has been spilled on foreign soil or in unknown waters.
We thank you for the time you have given our country at great personal expense, leaving your own families behind.
We thank your families for patiently waiting for your return, and we share their pride in you.
We thank those who have lost their lives and those who go willingly into battle knowing it may well be their last.
We thank you for the effort you make to establish and protect the peace we have come to rely upon.
We thank you for your selflessness and bravery, knowing it takes a noble kind of person to shield another from hardship.
It is with great gratitude that we wear our poppies in recognition of the blood in the fields and the immeasurable sacrifice made by our warriors in the field. Your courage will never be forgotten.