On Remembrance Day, many Canadians observe a moment of silence on the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, to remember the sacrifices of all those who served in wars, so that we could have peace.
I am grateful for all who served. On a personal note, my dad fought in WWII, and my paternal grandpa, fought in WWI.
I am grateful for The Royal Canadian Legion, an organization which has done so much to support veterans and their families over the years by giving them a place to gather. In the days before the diagnosis of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), those veterans, like my dad, who would wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat from their war flashbacks, could go to the local legion and talk with comrades who had faced similar experiences.
I am grateful for the scholarship I received from The Legion to attend UBC. The Legion preserves the memory of those who served each year, with Remembrance Day ceremonies at cenotaphs, where they lay wreaths decorated with poppies to remember those who fought against tyranny so we could have freedom.
I am grateful for The Canadian Government for giving veterans retirement pensions, and developing a Veterans Housing Program through CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation) giving returning veterans the opportunity to purchase an affordable house. My mom and dad purchased my childhood home in South Vancouver through the veterans housing program.
Today, as the number of surviving veterans is dwindling, and their children, the baby boomers are becoming seniors, we will be passing the torch to the younger generation, who may not know relatives who were personally involved in a war. To ensure the sacrifices of the veterans were not in vain, in a peace keeping country like Canada, together we can consciously work on achieving lasting world peace in the veteran’s honor.
Peace is a feeling that starts in our own hearts and spreads to those around us.
The Dalai Lama says peace will only be temporary unless people and nations can build genuine trust.
He is “deeply opposed to war”, but doesn’t advocate appeasement. “It is often necessary to take a strong stand to counter unjust aggression, such as in the Second World War, but it’s best to avoid war if at all possible… As long as adversaries don’t trust each other any number of factors can upset the balance of power…Lasting peace can be secured only on the basis of genuine trust, he says.
Please take a moment this Monday to remember.
This peace poem was written in the 6th Century BC by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu:
If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.
Wishing peace to all of you. Ann Hoy
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