On Nov 11, I will stand in silence – in gratitude and in honour of the Canadian and American armed forces who have so bravely and selflessly defended our and others’ rights and freedoms.
This year it holds even greater meaning for me. As I write this, an American solider has been killed in the battles at Mosul, in northern Iraq. Two days ago we returned from a holiday in Egypt, Israel and Jordan. The sites were fascinating, the people friendly and welcoming, and the history momentous. However, in some areas, the anxiety was palpable.
We passed through heavily armed checkpoints. In Cairo, the Canadian, British and American embassies were hidden, protected behind massive walls of concrete blocks. Social media in Egypt contained messages of unrest. Citizens were anxious. The faces of people on the street were etched with fear.
Our Jordanian guide expressed gratitude for living where he does – and fear for the surrounding countries. Our Egyptian and Israeli guides said to us, “We do not want to fight. We do not want our children to die. We live in harmony with our Christian/Muslim/Jewish friends and neighbours. See – our churches and mosques are across the street from each. We are friends. Please. Pray for us. Pray for peace.”
In a busy market in Jerusalem, at the request of others, I quietly sang, Make Me A Channel of Your Peace. Those of us present hoped that in some small way, the words would be carried on the breeze and have an impact.
This Remembrance Day, please join me in honouring the members of our armed forces and their families.