Faye E. Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan.

Ask Auntie: Remembrance Day isn’t just another holiday

Remember those who fought for our freedoms but also those who continue to protect them

I find it hard to believe that it’s already November but the calendar doesn’t lie.

The ghosts and goblins are done for another year and Santa is poking his nose around the corner.

There’s one thing in between though and that’s Remembrance Day.

I would ask all of you to take a moment and think not only about the war veterans but also those who assist and protect us today.

Every year I go to a Remembrance Day ceremony with my family. We’ve done this at home but also in Australia and once or twice in the USA.

When I go, I always make sure I’m wearing sunglasses as the music and moment of silence always moves me to tears.

I feel the presence of my late father who served overseas in the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War.

Memories of him come to the forefront and bring back thoughts of a chest of drawers that sat at the top of the stairs in the house where I grew up.

The bottom drawer was jam-packed with my dad’s wartime pictures, ribbons, and mementos. Myself, along with my brothers and sisters, would rummage through it but Dad never answered our questions — it was clear he didn’t want to talk about it.

I had other family members serve during the wars and the idea of them in the cold bone-chilling dampness or life-threatening situations reminds me of how much was sacrificed by so many.

The least I can do is have a moment of silence and respectfully allow the wreaths to be laid.

This year on Nov. 11, I invite you to pause for a short moment to remember the many who not only fought for our freedoms but also for those who continue to protect them.

I’d like to acknowledge the groups and individuals who don’t get enough recognition.

The RCMP and various municipal and/or provincial police units, firefighters, paramedics, ER nurses, doctors and any other front-line first responders.

These men and women show up every day for us — not only to protect but also to defend our freedom.

They are the ones who run into the burning buildings, that hold the hand of someone who is wounded, attend to us in our homes when we call — they need to be remembered too.

My grandfather was a gunner in the First World War. He returned home with what was then called shell shock.

He lost his hearing because of the explosive noise of shelling. He also lost himself in a way that he was never again his normal self.

It’s what we now refer to as being post-traumatic stress syndrome or PTSD and it’s real.

Many years ago, a cop friend of mine told me that people didn’t understand the job of an officer and until you’ve held a dying child in your arms at a traffic accident they never could.

Trauma and stress are real. It saddens me to recognize the fact that many officers commit suicide as a result of facing such extreme ugliness in the line of duty.

One such example is the death of RCMP officer Ken Barker, aged 51, who investigated the greyhound beheading in Manitoba. How can anyone reconcile such experiences and continue uninterrupted in civilian life?

By knowing that these caring men and women are in our community doing the heroic work we feel safer.

They’re on our side. They protect our freedoms and serve selflessly. They deserve to be recognized.

So, Nov. 11 is not simply another holiday squeezed between Halloween and Christmas.

You can still sleep in and enjoy the day off but the meaning need not be lost as you go about your daily life.

Please, just pause, remember, and say a silent thank you.

Faye Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan. She can be reached through her website at www.fayeearcand.com Follow on Twitter: @Faye_E_Arcand FaceBook: @Faye.E.Arcand and Instagram: Faye.Arcand

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion

Vees secure 4-1 win against Wenatchee

On Saturday night the Vees take on the Wild again at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Penticton massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Raffle tickets sold at first two Vees playoff games raising money for CT scan machine

The playoffs commence on Feb. 27 followed by game two on Feb. 28

‘Let’s talk dirty’ a guide to easy composting at home

Composting at home has great benefits and can be made easy, says waste management expert.

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

Pawsative Pups: You have a new puppy, now what?

Lisa Davies is a new columnist for Black Press who writes about dog training

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Most Read