Once a year, we remember the price that the veterans of World War I and World War II paid for the freedoms we now enjoy. They worked to liberate countries like The Netherlands, as well as defended France, Great Britain, and other parts of Europe. Some returned. Others did not. But we remember them all, and today is a day of mixed emotions, as we remember those lost, those who survived and have now passed on, and those still with us today. We remember their sacrifice. We celebrate the end of the war, and yet the celebration is marked with somber reflection as we try to imagine just how much it meant to these people to put aside their own interests and their own livelihoods and fight for the freedom of others. They fought, not knowing whether they would live or die, and yet determining that the fate of others was more important than the fate of their own lives. And so, even though many veterans are no longer with us today, and the memories of the wars are fading ever so slowly into the blackness of times gone by, we salute all the brave souls who fought for us. We commend their courage; we laud the great sacrifice that they made. Yes, veterans. Today we give you the highest honour that man deserves, because we know that greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. And though we may not know you or have seen you, today we call you our friends. You are truly the friends of many, because your sacrifice surpasses the bounds of time of a six year war. Today, we salute you. Today, we remember.
I stood respectfully in silence for two minutes at 11:00 AM today, and as I did so, I prayed a blessing on the veterans who served in the World Wars. Though many have passed on, I prayed that God would hold them in His hands and bless them for the sacrifice they made. They gave everything they had, not knowing whether they’d ever come home to receive it back, and though some did and some didn’t, the fact that they gave their all deserves the greatest respect. I don’t know what it’s like to serve in a war. I can’t even imagine what it would be like. But if there is one thing I understand, it’s just how difficult selflessness is. And these people were willing to give of themselves for others – that deserves all the honour and respect we can give them. And so, I prayed for God to bless them for what they did. Many are still now suffering the aftereffects of the war. Memories are still vivid in their minds, and the pain is still as if it were yesterday. And so, I also prayed that for those who still were not right with God, that He would be near to them and show them the way to Him. I know that, of all people, these veterans know what it is like to face death, not knowing whether this day will be their last. And that definitely has the effect of putting things in an eternal perspective. Is there life after death? Hopefully those who still don’t know God will make things right with Him before it is too late. After all, we never have certainty of tomorrow.
In the light of Remembrance Day, nothing else really seems so important. I would go on and describe last night and today, but this day should be reserved for remembering those who gave their lives. And so I respectfully end this entry as a display of silence – as best a display of silence as is possible on the Internet. Life will go on, but for just a moment, we pause and remember. Thank you, veterans.