A Day to Honor Life.Remembrance Day.

To some it's merely the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, while to others it is a day to remember those who have passed from this life in order that we may enjoy the freedom we have. However, to the war veteran and to the families of fallen soldiers, Remembrance Day carries significance so deep that words cannot express what they feel deep within their hearts.

Did you pause to look deep into the eyes of those still mourning these once vibrant men and women, who survived the war and who lost family and friend during the war? Did you sense their loneliness and pain. Did you hear them choke back tears as they simply say the ranks and names of their military brothers and sisters at the Remembrance Day service? White gloves, dress uniforms, rigid posture, and perfectly precisioned salutes represented the reverence and respect flowing from within. Those who have been personally affected by war understand and appreciate this day of remembrance.  What should we say to those who sincerely honor this day? "Happy Remembrance Day" doesn't seem fitting. "I'm sorry for your loss" may be closer to appropriate. What would the fallen soldier want from their comrades and the rest of the country on this day?

In 1884 Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., had this to say about such a day as this, "Our dead brothers still live for us,and bid us think of life, not death - of life to which in their youth they lent the passion and joy of the spring. As I listen, the great chorus of life and joy begins again, and amid the awful orchestra of seen and unseen powers and destinies of good and evil our trumpets sound once more a note of daring, hope and will."The Canadian Solders who have their lives for us, as Canadians to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are unable to tell us how to observe the holiday. But reflecting on the quote from Holmes' proposition to "think life, not death" would honor the fallen solders. Their sacrifice follows the example of Jesus Christ laying down His life for our freedom. It's selfless love for others - not so others can mourn forever, but live!

1 John 3:16 says "We know that real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters."Notice that in scripture and in military service, the willingness to give up one's life is not dependent on the worthiness of the people who benefit from the honorable act. In a perfect world, all who receive freedom and grace would be worthy of such a sacrifice and full of gratitude. But that's not the way it is anywhere on earth or in Heaven. Romans 5:8 says "But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."We are blessed to be living in a free society.

May we honor our Canadian Soldiers for the liberty we have in this country, not only at the time of Remembrance Day, but throughout the year. When we see a veteran why not walk up to them and say thank you for your service to your country. May we also give thanks to Almighty God for the freedom we have to spend eternity with Him because of His gift of forgiveness through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ His one and only Son.

In His Service,
David Dean
Major
Chaplain/Volunteer Coordinator
"This is the day the Lord has made."