Here in Canada, it is Remembrance Day.
Remembrance Day, much as it sounds, is the day we remember those who gave their lives in military service. In observance of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in recognition of the end of hostilities of World War I, Remembrance Day is celebrated in many commonwealth countries, and the canadian observance includes wearing a poppy over your heart, special gatherings, assemblies at school, and ceremonies in most towns and cities across the country. This year, Remembrance Day also celebrates the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI.
Today was particularly poignant as the National War Memorial was rededicated, adding both the Afghanistan mission as well as South African War, and the addition of a new phrase "In Service to Canada — Au service du Canada." Just a short time ago, this monument was the site of a horrifying shooting that killed one of our soldiers on home soil, just two days after a separate incident that left a warrant officer dead. I have been so proud of the way the media and the country in large has focused on the valiant sacrifice of the soldiers and who they were, rather then shining the limelight on the perpetrators of these terrible attacks.
Back in the US, it is Veterans Day, a day in which we honor all of those who have served in the military.
TR has a long tradition and a special place in our hearts for being a second home for service members, and we have been home to scores of active duty, wounded and disabled veterans, retired military personnel and the actively deployed. It has been our honor to fight alongside of you all, even if only virtually, and know that we all support and appreciate the sacrifices you have all made over the years. Whether you are a simple private or our very own colonel in residence; toughing it out on deployment; enjoying your retirement; still climbing the ranks; at sea, home, or stationed overseas; we are SO proud of you, and thankful for your service. Let us also all remember that this service does not come without cost - and be ever mindful of our collective responsibility and duty to assist our soldiers and their families who need help readjusting to the every day, civilian life.
I'd also like to say a personal remembrance and thank you to the families of Volar, Carnon and Aaryanna, all who we lost this year to illness and personal struggles - though their deaths were not associated directly with their service; all were military in their past lives and today I remember them as I remember all others who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.