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

Just Posted

Province to invest $2 million for mental health programs

Each of B.C.’s 60 school districts will receive portions of the funding

Cougar reportedly spotted near West Kelowna church, elementary school

This is the second time in the past month that a cougar has been seen in the area

Cirque Du Soleil to cross over for ice-performance in Kelowna in 2020

Experience live music, extraordinary skating and stunning visuals in Cirque de Soleil Axel

Vernon woman collecting socks for Kelowna’s less fortunate

Jennylee Cowie hopes to collect 100 pairs of socks to give to the Gospel Mission in Kelowna

Okanagan College elects new chair and vice chair

Gloria Morgan was elected as the new chair Okanagan College’s board of governors

VIDEO: Ron MacLean says he doesn’t believe former co-host Don Cherry is racist

Sportsnet fired Cherry on Nov. 11, two days after controversial on-air comments during ‘Coach’s Corner’

Penticton council fed up with non-compliant property owner

“I’m deeply offended, as I think all of Penticton is, and especially the neighbours.”

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

Companies calling on the federal government to ‘do everything in its power’ to end the strike

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland

Osoyoos driver admits being ‘drunk’ after crashing into pole

A 52-year-old Osoyoos man admits being drunk after hitting power pole

Penticton council to hear case for declaring a climate emergency in the new year

The newly formed Sustainability Committee has been directed to look at the idea

Vigilantes sentenced to two years jail after invading alleged Hedley drug house

Two men were sentenced to two years in federal prison November 12,… Continue reading

Most Read