Pause and take time to remember

Bells will ring out across Canada at sunset on Sunday, Nov. 11, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, as any church with bells is being asked to ring them 100 times as we pause and remember.
Locomotives with CP Rail will sound their horns at 11:01 a.m., where it is safe to do so, which is the time when two minutes of silence will be observed at gatherings across the country.
Services of remembrance will be held that day, and many of them will focus on this important milestone of history, remembering the “Great War” that began in 1914 and ended on Nov. 11, 1918, after a tragically bloody loss of lives in many hard-fought battles.
Many people at the time thought this was the “war to end all wars”, but of course this was not the case, as the war memorials in every town and city pays tribute to the fallen who fought in the Second World War, the Korean war, the Vietnam War, and for Canadian forces, those who served in such theatres as the Gulf War and Afghanistan.
The hope is that people will learn from the tragic loss of life and the major impacts on the countries involved in the fighting, but armed conflicts continue to arise and cause massive devastation. The huge outpouring of refugees from Syria can bear witness to the levelling of towns and cities in that country with a conflict that even now has not been ended.
Peace comes at a bloody price, as with each major conflict, the young men and women of that generation sacrificed their futures and their lives as they fought on our behalf.
While their sacrifice did not end wars for good, the shedding of their blood did accomplish a great deal in securing a measure of peace and security for us today. That peace is what has brought many, many immigrants from countries throughout the world as they seek a better life with new beginnings.
May we never forget the sacrifices made on our behalf, whether it was in the bloody trenches of Passchendaele and Vimy of a century ago, on Juno Beach or in the arid heat of Afghanistan.
To be sure, more conflicts will demand more blood to be shed, but if we can do what we can to remember what was done on our behalf, current and future generations can learn about what was done for them, and they can remember, and seek peaceful ways to resolve conflict.

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