Faye E. Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan.

Faye E. Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan.

Ask Auntie: Remembrance Day isn’t just another holiday

Remember those who fought for our freedoms but also those who continue to protect them

I find it hard to believe that it’s already November but the calendar doesn’t lie.

The ghosts and goblins are done for another year and Santa is poking his nose around the corner.

There’s one thing in between though and that’s Remembrance Day.

I would ask all of you to take a moment and think not only about the war veterans but also those who assist and protect us today.

Every year I go to a Remembrance Day ceremony with my family. We’ve done this at home but also in Australia and once or twice in the USA.

When I go, I always make sure I’m wearing sunglasses as the music and moment of silence always moves me to tears.

I feel the presence of my late father who served overseas in the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War.

Memories of him come to the forefront and bring back thoughts of a chest of drawers that sat at the top of the stairs in the house where I grew up.

The bottom drawer was jam-packed with my dad’s wartime pictures, ribbons, and mementos. Myself, along with my brothers and sisters, would rummage through it but Dad never answered our questions — it was clear he didn’t want to talk about it.

I had other family members serve during the wars and the idea of them in the cold bone-chilling dampness or life-threatening situations reminds me of how much was sacrificed by so many.

The least I can do is have a moment of silence and respectfully allow the wreaths to be laid.

This year on Nov. 11, I invite you to pause for a short moment to remember the many who not only fought for our freedoms but also for those who continue to protect them.

I’d like to acknowledge the groups and individuals who don’t get enough recognition.

The RCMP and various municipal and/or provincial police units, firefighters, paramedics, ER nurses, doctors and any other front-line first responders.

These men and women show up every day for us — not only to protect but also to defend our freedom.

They are the ones who run into the burning buildings, that hold the hand of someone who is wounded, attend to us in our homes when we call — they need to be remembered too.

My grandfather was a gunner in the First World War. He returned home with what was then called shell shock.

He lost his hearing because of the explosive noise of shelling. He also lost himself in a way that he was never again his normal self.

It’s what we now refer to as being post-traumatic stress syndrome or PTSD and it’s real.

Many years ago, a cop friend of mine told me that people didn’t understand the job of an officer and until you’ve held a dying child in your arms at a traffic accident they never could.

Trauma and stress are real. It saddens me to recognize the fact that many officers commit suicide as a result of facing such extreme ugliness in the line of duty.

One such example is the death of RCMP officer Ken Barker, aged 51, who investigated the greyhound beheading in Manitoba. How can anyone reconcile such experiences and continue uninterrupted in civilian life?

By knowing that these caring men and women are in our community doing the heroic work we feel safer.

They’re on our side. They protect our freedoms and serve selflessly. They deserve to be recognized.

So, Nov. 11 is not simply another holiday squeezed between Halloween and Christmas.

You can still sleep in and enjoy the day off but the meaning need not be lost as you go about your daily life.

Please, just pause, remember, and say a silent thank you.

Faye Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan. She can be reached through her website at www.fayeearcand.com Follow on Twitter: @Faye_E_Arcand FaceBook: @Faye.E.Arcand and Instagram: Faye.Arcand

Just Posted

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

.
Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The COVID-19 cases reported over the week of May 30 to June 5. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees second straight week of 17 new COVID-19 cases

Summerland, Keremeos and Princeton all recorded no new cases

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read