LEST WE FORGET

As a proud Canadian, I feel that although today is a somber occasion, it is an extremely important day to address. November 11 each year is a heavy but incredibly important day, where Canadians come together to commemorate the military men and women, past and present, that serve(d) for Canada. At 11:00am, we take a moment of silence to simply remember and show respect for those who paid the ultimate price. You may have seen the addition of a red poppy to several of my pictures this month- I wear it proudly in November to remember all of the incredibly brave men and women who have and are doing their part to protect Canada and fight for the freedom we enjoy everyday.

I had heard several stories of the war from my grandparents growing up, I’m sure many of us have, and I see the images of war and unrest on TV - but it is so hard to truly comprehend the horrible reality of it when you’re so far removed from it. I simply cannot comprehend how it must have felt, leaving a family behind, preparing for war, not knowing whether or not you’ll return - but you’ll do it anyways, because this is bigger than you, and freedom is at stake. To me, that is the definition of courage. That is the definition of bravery. The strength it must have taken our veterans, and their families, is unimaginable. The strength it must take our current Armed Forces members is truly admirable.

No matter how far back in history or how far across the world where war was and is present, it is so important to show respect towards all those fighting for freedom. In the past few years, Remembrance Day has started to hit particularly close to home for myself and my family. If you didn’t already know, I am the oldest of three - a big sister to two younger brothers - Chad, who is 25 and Zach who is 21. My family is REALLY close, which I have come to appreciate so much the older I get.

In August 2015, Chad left for basic training to pursue a new role as a firefighter in the Canadian Armed Forces, and became Cpl Van Eyk. I had just given birth to Jase in April (which he and my entire family were there for…. in the waiting room, mind you - LOL). Jase was the first baby in our family (spoiled rotten, as you can imagine!) and Chad is a super fun and loving uncle, and also his Godfather - so it was hard to know he wouldn’t be there for a lot of Jase’s early years. By the time Bree came along in July 2017, he was posted in British Columbia and finally got to meet her at Christmas that year, when she was 5 months old.

 
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Maybe it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to you- lots of families have someone who is off on a tour, or working, or travelling, or lives far away. But if that is the case and your family is close like mine, you’ll know how it feels like an empty space - even though we are all CRAZY proud of what he’s doing. His most recent visit since last Christmas was in April of this year, when our Grandpa passed away. He can’t come home for Christmas this year, so I know it will definitely feel like there’s a piece missing for all of us.

 
Left to Right: My dad, my mom, Bree, myself, Jase, Kev, Chad, Ryann (Zach’s girlfriend), Zach

Left to Right: My dad, my mom, Bree, myself, Jase, Kev, Chad, Ryann (Zach’s girlfriend), Zach

 

This is why it’s so important to recognize what members of our military have and are doing for us. Even if they aren’t on tour, there are sacrifices. There are families missing them, praying for their safety, and that they’ll get to see them sooner rather than later.

So everyday, but especially today, it is crucial to just take a moment, and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice through war, to respect and thank our living veterans, and support our current Canadian Armed Forces members. Thank you, to all of our service members, past and present for the sacrifices you have and are making, for Canadians to enjoy safety and freedom.

“If they are remembered, they are not truly gone; they simply change duty assignments and are amongst our best”

We Remember.

Lest We Forget.