Monday, our Rotary Club came together to celebrate Remembrance Day and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Rotarians shared their reflections about what Remembrance Day means to them with touching stories about their family and friends.
Some shared stories about where they were when the war ended; others talked about family members who returned home from war sharing their badges of honour, uniforms and stories.
Many stories shared one thing in common: the inability for those returning from war to share their full experiences with their families and the toll that it took on those nearest to them.
Jim Adkin said, "I always pause to think about what he [his father] went through and what he didn't say – Lorne Adkin was a hero, but he suffered in silence."
The following stories told on Monday revealed that many others did as well, and few chose to seek a counsellor's support. Although they were victorious and came home, we learned that it was an onerous burden to live with that would follow them for the rest of their lives.
Anil shared a different perspective with the group, noting Indian contributions to the war and how grateful he is to them and all of the other soldiers.
We also explored what democracy and freedom mean to young people today. Donald shared his experience as a young person learning about what these values mean and how a high school presentation from a veteran profoundly shifted his understanding of the impacts of World War II.
This year as we celebrate Remembrance Day, let's not only think about those of the past but also those of the future and ask ourselves if we have we shared enough with our youth to reinforce today's significance, what it means for their future.
Allan shared a very impactful quote from his uncle, who would say, "The rights of the people is always outweighed by the responsibility that we have to our communities."
We are so grateful for everyone's contribution to our remembrance day celebration, and we are eternally thankful for the sacrifices of so many brave men and women. The world we know today would not be the same without them. Lest we forget.