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Editorial: Remembering is important

Services at Flexihall Nov. 11
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Remembrance Day remains important so we learn from our past. (File Photo)
YORKTON - Remembrance Day is tomorrow and it should be a day we gather to pay tribute to the brave men and women who sacrificed so much to ensure this country would have a chance to become what it is today. 

What they did on the battlefields through war to protect our freedoms and way of life should never be forgotten, even as the survivors of the earliest conflicts have been all but lost to time. 

Imagine you are a young person on the Canadian Prairies more than a century ago. You probably did not have running water especially if you lived on a farm. Electricity perhaps, but not for all, and the telephone would still be a rarity too, especially when the great war broke out in the summer of 1914. 

Would you be ready to take up the fight for freedom as they did? They had to know they might never return, 61,000 Canadian were killed during that war, 172,000 more wounded, but they still chose to serve. 

More than 45,000 would die when the next great war struck. 

The toll was huge on a country which was just in its early years of self-rule, but look at what that sacrifice has meant. 

Canada has its share of scars, warts and blemishes from Japanese interment during World War II, to residential schools, but when you measure this country against most it’s still an amazing place to be, and that is why we should never forget those who have sacrificed to preserve this country. 

Nor, should we forget that there are still those serving today, in particular being part of peacekeeping missions on foreign soil. 

It is to be hoped that was the great lesson of the earlier wars, that we need to find ways to buffer smaller conflicts, to calm the situation, to help resolve differences before they are the match which ignites a far larger conflict. 

It’s not always easy, nor safe for those who become the buffer, but it has become a role this country has taken to proudly.  

A country is not an island isolated from the rest of this world. There is a role to play; as a good neighbour -- as a partner -- in making our whole world better and safer for the next generation, and Canadian soldiers have taken on that role. 

So we need to remember those as well. 

This is not about applauding war – it is about honouring the brave. It is about remembering that war is one of the ugliest examples of what humans can do, and that we need to be diligent that we never allow a third world war to happen. 

If we remember those who fell before, gave their lives for our future, hopefully the final lesson will be an always enduring peace.