Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. A day when Canadians solemnly remember the sacrifices of members of Canada’s veterans in armed conflicts and wars since Canada’s confederation in 1867. Even as a little girl I’m pretty sure I always recognized how important and serious Remembrance Day was, but it is much more apparent to me now for many reasons. Not only am I a member of the Canadian Forces, but my husband and many of my close friends are also members of the CF. I know how much CF members give of themselves in service to this country.Nicola Goddard

I am not a very politically minded person, and as the debate over Canada’s participation in Afghanistan rages on in the Canadian media and in Canadian society as a whole I find myself frustrated over what I see to be petty political arguments. The one thing that does make me feel better is the overwhelming support of our troops. It seems that the message has really sunk in that no matter what ones’ personal opinion of the war on terror is, our troops need our support. I realize that to many the statement “Our Troops” may seem very a very vague concept. But to me and to Dale, it means “Our Friends”. It means our friend Dan, who has completed two tours in Afghanistan on the front lines, and his wife Beth who waits anxiously at home every time he goes. It means my friend Jen who is at home with four kids ages 7, 5, 3 and 1 while her husband Kevin is on his second Naval deployment in two years. It means Dale’s friend Nicola who paid the ultimate price; she was killed in action in Afghanistan on May 17th, 2006 leaving her husband Jay behind. To me Remembrance Day is not only about our veterans from War long ago, but also about currently serving members. These are the people, among many others that I am honouring today. They most definitely deserve out support.

Dale and I took Nate to his first Remembrance Day ceremony today. It was rainy and windy and cold as usual. He won’t remember today, but as his Mom I truly hope that I can teach him in the years to come the importance of remembering Canadian veterans and supporting Canadian troops, because they are some of the finest people I know. I feel extremelyimg_2590.jpg lucky to be a Canadian and to live in peace and freedom. There are so many things I do on a daily basis that I often take for granted, but today I remember that I can do those things because Canadian men and women gave and continue to give their lives. They fight on behalf of our democratically elected government in the name of peace. A man I respect very much, my former Wing Commander at CFB Comox, Col Jon Ambler often quotes Evelyn Beatrice Hall; she paraphrased Voltaire in saying “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. I think it perfectly summarizes what our veterans have always done – they have made extreme sacrifices, often in the face of dissenting opinions, in order to ensure that Canadians can continue to enjoy peace and freedom.

So I don’t mind standing in the rain and wind and cold every November 11th. In fact I love to do it. And while I’m there I think about my friends. And I think about my grandparents and all the friends they lost in World War II. And today I prayed that Nate never has to know the pain and terror of war, even if that means that Dale and I have to make sacrifices. So today, no matter what you think about governments or politicians or the decisions that they are making, I hope that you will stop for a moment and think about “our” troops and “our” veterans and say a silent thank you for the sacrifices they have made and continue to make. I promise you they will appreciate it.

Lest We Forget