My family and I attended the Remembrance Day service in town. It is one of my favorite days of the year because I think it is too easy for us to forget the rest of the year the absolute importance of how we got to where we are. I have a special place in my heart for bagpipes. It might have something to do with my lineage or my daughter’s involvement in Highland Dance, but either way the sound moves me.
We stood waiting for the honoured to reach Veterans Square. I had a movie playing in my head. Every time I hear bagpipes I close my eyes and imagine history.
Earlier this year, my kids and I were very fortunate to have the opportunity to go to Hawaii for a Highland Dance competition. The trip was courtesy of all those who supported the many fund-raisers held by the dancers. Along with the joy of sand between our toes and warm sunshine on our faces, there were other very meaningful experiences.
I took the kids to Pearl Harbour. We were there for six hours and did not see it all. Standing at the memorial site was humbling. I also believe it was extremely important to see.
We took a tour of a submarine and I couldn’t believe that sailors lived in those cramped quarters. I couldn’t have been easy. Then, add in the seriousness of the matter. The sub could hit a mine floating in the water or be spotted by another sub or a ship. There would be little hope for survival. So many were lost. Lists of never-ending names covered cairns. Ships sunk in the harbour still held lost sailors.
Once we got home from the service on Friday, I donned my running gear and prepared to go for a jog on our ranch road. I patiently waited out the rain which was followed by snow. At around 4 p.m., I burst out of the house just happy that I could run free. I ran down the ranch road, breathing deeply of the air and felt such gratitude. I could run down the road without fear of gunshot or a land mine because others had ensured that I could. I would not whimper about my sore heal because my sore heel was from wearing flip-flops for too long in the fall, not from wearing the same socks and boots for days while hiking through mud and rain sometimes without food or sleep or back up carrying the weight of ammunition and guns.
It is fitting that the election is held so close after Remembrance Day. I know the good, who I have covered in the past helping in our community. They attend local events and not just to watch, but often to participate. Their hands are not baby soft. They have the hands of someone who pitches in. At the end of the day, I hope we all do our best to choose someone with the honour our forefathers fought for and I hope we all vote. Lives were lost so we could try and preserve what is best about Canada. Honour is not just in remembering, but in how we live our lives. I ran because I could. I hope you vote because you can.