As much as I wish everyday that my children would stop growing up so fast, it is also a wonderful thing to experience them growing up and learning just a little bit more about the world around them. This morning, I asked each of my children what Remembrance Day meant. My oldest daughter’s response brought tears to my eyes because she is now grown up enough to truly understand the importance of this day.
Jorah told me that on Remembrance Day, we remember all of those people who fought for freedom. She told me, in a very serious tone, that the soldiers died so she could be who she wanted to be. She told me how all those soldiers fighting brought freedom to her so she could live in the house she wanted to, go to the school she wanted to and get whatever job she wanted when she grew up. This to me is exactly what Remembrance Day is. It is about accepting my freedoms, it is about using those freedoms and being respectful for those that fought to give them to me. I teared up because my daughter now recognizes how important it is to take a moment to say thank you and she now knows that these freedoms came at a price.
Today, I attended Remembrance Day ceremonies with my children and was proud to be part of a large crowd that came out to pay their respect to those that fought for freedoms. The crowd was very solemn and respectful, quiet. This changed when the members of the military were asked to stand. The applause grew louder and louder as various wars were called out and current military and veterans stood. When the vets of the world wars were asked to stand, the loudest applause erupted and the audience began to stand, one at a time until united, the room paid tribute to all of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. It was amazing to watch, and very humbling to be a part of.
It was a freedom to choose to be there today, just as it is a freedom to choose to be a part of the military, and a freedom to choose to stand respectfully and honour those that fight for people that cannot defend themselves. Those men and women standing today gave me that right to choose my freedoms. It was their battle and as a result, I can choose where I want to live and what I want to do with my life. It is most definitely my freedom to ensure my children know this.
Today, I stood with my daughter and recognized her freedom to choose knowledge, and her freedom to put her footprints on this earth where ever and however she chooses to place them. She knows now that these men and women fought and continue to fight to ensure her freedom remains just that, free. There are places in the world where children do not have these freedoms and parents cannot freely watch their children grow up. She recognizes this fact and is grateful to those veterans that made sure she is not one of them.
Today, I watched my child grow up just a little bit more and I caught a glimpse of the adult she will become – respectful and aware that while she has freedom, it comes at a great price. Today I am proud to say that not only do I remember, but my Jorah remembers too.
Jorah got up this morning and made an origami peace dove in honour of those who gave her freedom. It was her way of saying thank you and her way of recognizing that freedom is seldom free.