Remembrance Day is just around the corner.
Nov. 11 is an important date on the calendar. It's a time for reflection and giving thanks to the soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice, so that Canadians could enjoy the freedoms so often taken for granted today. Sacrifice is something that has taken on added meaning amid the pandemic.
Last year, Rocky View County and Airdrie residents were not allowed to attend large in-person Remembrance Day ceremonies, as the province was in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic at the time. Instead, like for so many other facets of life, those observances moved online.
Once again, people will mostly have to observe Remembrance Day virtually, on their own, or within their own familial cohorts this year. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing. A large group is not a specific requirement to pay respect to veterans or the fallen, and it may even be preferable for some people to perform these kinds of acts in a solitary manner.
Supporting the poppy campaign is one way of showing respect, while also providing much needed support for veterans programs and as an outward symbol of your support for the sacrifice they made. This year, consider purchasing the $10 100-year anniversary poppy from your local legion. Doing so is another way to start conversations about the history of the symbol.
If the walls of Canada's legions could talk, they would tell stories of dedication, bravery and selflessness. Fortunately, legion members are often happy to share stories of their past, many of which have also been immortalized online and can be easily found and shared.
People can support their veterans anytime, not just on or during the lead-up to Remembrance Day. Consider visiting a legion for a bite to eat and to chat with a veteran about their experiences.
Whatever you decide to sacrifice this Remembrance Day, know that it pales in comparison to what many men and women had to give up.