In my head Remembrance Day is fairly straight forward. I think of the thousands of men and women who served their countries in the armed services. For all of these people there were sacrifices of various degrees. All of them showed bravery and willingness to be well prepared for their duties.
It seems to me that the meaning of Remembrance Day is becoming complicated. There are a variety of voices that speak and the message is not as focused as in the past. When World War veterans were prominent in large numbers it was easy to focus on remembrance and be lead in remembrance services.
As time went on more wars were fought and peace keeping activities took place so we added other aspects of remembrance. Some of our armed forces never participated in action but still made tremendous contributions to our peace and safety.
Much more is being done in schools for remembrance day activities. Students are being taught about our history so that remembrance becomes more meaningful.
It worries me when I see comments on twitter and other sites that place a much less value on peace keeping services. Peace keepers have been a valuable service to our country and other countries in the world.
This year there has been a controversy about the color of poppies. Some promote a white poppy to represent peace. Others promote a purple poppy to remember animals. It seems like a petty issue. Red can represent all issues. Why do some people try to hijack an issue to promote their own bias?
Where we really show our respect is how we treat our veterans when they return from wars and leave the services. Lately our government seems to want to cheap out on services veterans require as a result of serving their country.
An inspiration to me is an 87 year old veteran who I skate with. He keeps us informed about his activities and shows the pride he had in serving our country. He also tells us the horrors he went through. He's also very honest about the difficulties he experienced since his return. He is truly a shining example of people who served their country. He helps to focus my remembrance.