The peace and freedom we enjoy in our country comes at great cost.
Paid by the precious few who place themselves in harm’s way so that we don’t have to.
But all of the sacrifices aren’t made solely by those on the front lines of the world’s conflicts.
Their families who stand firmly behind them - missing them, praying for them - pay just as high a price . . .
One of my dad’s best friends growing up was a boy named Bernard.
He was a good boy, though rather heedless and daring.
Often the instigator of mischievous deeds and pranks.
As Bernard grew older, his independent, free-spirited view of life wasn’t always understood by everyone.
In particular his father.
When Bernard was sixteen, he and his father weren’t quite seeing eye-to-eye.
That fact, coupled with the additional incentive of a country fighting a righteous war, sent young Bernard to the recruitment center.
He was a tall lad. Easily passing for the eighteen he claimed.
When his father discovered what he had done, he had the option (and the power) to march in, relate a few home truths, and bring his underage boy home. But, after some thought, Bernard’s father decided that his boy needed some discipline. And what better way to get it than by enlisting in the forces?
Bernard went through his training with little trouble. In no time, he was on his way to the battle front, eager to get into the fray.
He charged into battle with the same heedless enthusiasm that had marked his life so far.
But this wasn’t the schoolyard games he was used to.
This was war.
And on his third day, like so many others, he paid the ultimate sacrifice.
His father never recovered from the blow.
Blaming himself for failing to retrieve an underage boy, he mourned his son throughout the remainder of his life.
A tragedy in so many ways.
On this Remembrance Day, let us honour all of the men and women who made and are making our lives possible.
Let us remember the sacrifice of those who fought and fight still.
And those who mourn them.