We will not take the present or the future for granted when we understand the price that was paid for it in the past.
A Lancaster bomber flew low overhead, black against the grey November sky. My children covered their ears as the strains of the national anthem were swallowed up by the plane’s roaring engine. The crowd in front of the old town hall was solemn. Even the youngest seemed to sense the importance of this moment.
Some might feel that my children are still too young to fully grasp the significance of Remembrance Day—and they are right. Still, we attend the annual ceremony when we can, even if my kids don’t get it yet. As they grow up, there are things I want them to understand.
We live in a great nation. I love Canada and I want my children to love Canada. I want them to be proud of who they are and where they live. I want them to enjoy their freedom to the fullest.
But I also want them to recognize that freedom isn’t free.
The blood of countless men and women has soaked the soil of battlefields all over the world. And those that survive war have to live with their memories of it. We live in peace because others have made a great sacrifice. I pray that, even at a young age, my children recognize the cost of freedom. It’s a spiritual principle that applies here: we will not take the present or the future for granted when we understand the price that was paid for it in the past.
I want my children to also understand that freedom needs to be maintained. Those who paid the price did not do it so that we could bury our heads in the sand. We’ve been handed a responsibility.
Every morning, we start our homeschool day by praying for our country and our leaders. It might seem insignificant, but it’s important. Whether we contend for our nation at home on our knees or step out into the political arena and engage in the discourse that shapes the policies of this land, we all have a role to play.
This is our nation, our freedom.
This morning, as we stood in front of the cenotaph and raised our voices to sing “O Canada”, I could hear my daughters’ voices blending in with the rest.
Together, we sang it. Our prayer. “God, keep our land glorious and free.” Amen to that.
And may we never forget.