A picture on the front page of The Montreal Gazette today haunts me. It's an old picture, from 1940. It shows a man and a woman, all dressed up, he in his military uniform, off to receive a medal from the king. They're both smiling;he's being honoured for his heroic efforts in the war, and she looks so proud.
His plane was shot down one month later. He did not survive.
It is so incredibly frightening to realize that in a moment, our lives can change forever.
My mother was a young child during the Second World War. She grew up in Poland/Russia. She remembers hearing the bombs drop and being absolutely terrified. It affects her to this day.
When I was growing up, my biggest fear was that there would be a war, and a draft, and that my father and brothers would have to go off and fight. I was terrified of this happening.
At this very moment, men and women are at war and losing their lives, kids are hearing bombs and seeing the ravages of war and being scarred for life, and people like you and me are saying good-bye to their loved ones before they courageously go off to try to bring peace and freedom to all parts of this planet.
I am thankful I am not one of these people. And I am thankful that there are, and have been, men and women who have been brave enough to put their lives in danger in order to protect the beauty of freedom and to bring that beauty to others.
I remember. And I thank you.