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OPINION: Remembrance Day a time to give special thanks

Lest we forget

Thursday (Nov. 11) is Remembrance Day. It remains a special day.

We know the record of our armed services since the creation of our great nation. There are endless deeds of valour, heroism and sacrifice.

They continue through the present day.

Those of us of a certain age often tend to think of the images of the Canadian soldier during the Second World War.

But the sacrifices made today by our current soldiers stand in importance alongside the sacrifices made in two world wars, Korea and more.

We’ll say it again: men and women in Canada’s armed forces remain as committed as those young people who went off to war in previous generations.

They know that Canadians every Nov. 11 honour their role in main- taining the hard-won peace, freedom and democratic traditions that veterans of past years fought to maintain.

On Remembrance Day, we neither oppose nor promote war; we mark those who have fought and died for freedoms we too often take for granted.

We come together to acknowledge that someone has to have the fortitude to stand up to regimes and movements that would, given the chance, quickly take away those freedoms.

Our veterans remain as important as our serving soldiers. We honour what they have done and are doing to uphold values, not just those we cherish but are key to living in a land of equality and opportunity.

We’ve seen some polarization within our own nation during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. We might do well to look to those who came before us and look to bridge those gaps once again.

Thursday in Parksville Qualicum Beach, the three Legions (Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Bowser will stage a variety of events as we honour those who served.

READ MORE: Decision to join military in 1965 was a good one for Qualicum Beach veteran

In Qualicum Beach, there will be a parade at 10 a.m. It will start at the Civic Centre parking lot and will work its way along Jones St., Second Ave., Memorial Ave., and right to Veterans Way to the Legion 76 cenotaph. Visit their Facebook page for information.

In Parksville, the Royal Canadian Legion Mount Arrowsmith Branch 49 will hold its Remembrance Day service at the cenotaph behind City Hall on Craig Street. A parade will start the legion at 10:30 on Hirst Street and will march up to Craig Street to where the cenotaph is located. Check the PQB News Facebook page for a livestream of the event.

Bowser Royal Canadian Legion Branch 211 will hold its services virtually. The community can watch the ceremony on YouTube channel: Bowser Legion Branch 211 livestream or link up through the Bowser Legion 211 Facebook page.

Canada has proven it has some of the very best fighting troops anywhere, who serve their country when required. As global politics remain increasingly destabilized, those forces will continue to be needed, at home and around the world. And every single person willing to make that sacrifice deserves our thanks. Yesterday, today and always.

Lest we forget.

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