Opin­ion lest We for­get

Shoreline Beacon - - Opinion -

Ev­ery year, for a brief mo­ment in the mid­dle of Novem­ber, the heroes of yes­ter­day once again walk with us.

Ev­ery Re­mem­brance Day, in the mid­dle of a busy morn­ing, we stand for a minute’s pause and re­mem­ber the men and women who fought so bravely on for­eign shores to de­fend the val­ues of jus­tice and peace that we en­joy to­day.

On that day, in that hour, in those sec­onds, we re­mem­ber, and in do­ing so, these heroes once again walk proudly down Main Street amongst us, the drums mark­ing each step of their path. We are very much aware that some would re­turn, but all too many would sleep forever­more in the bat­tle­fields of war.

I’m re­minded of one such young man, Ernest Boyle, whose mem­ory I was for­tu­nate to once again bring to life in a com­mem­o­ra­tive ban­ner project or­ga­nized by the Town of Saugeen Shores this past sum­mer.

Ernest was a young man of twenty, when he left his home and fam­ily in Southamp­ton to take up the cause in WW1. Two short years later, at the age of 23, young Ernest was killed in ac­tion near Ar­ras, France.

I won­der, es­pe­cially at this time of year, what he felt in that time.

Coin­ci­den­tally, I vis­ited Ar­ras this past year, and was struck by the sig­nif­i­cance of the role that Al­lied troops played as we drove past a ceme­tery at the edge of the road-a per­ma­nent re­minder of the cost of free­dom.

Our des­ti­na­tion on that jour­ney was Vimy Ridge. While there, I walked among the fields and bat­tle­ments, imag­in­ing the con­di­tions that these sol­diers had to en­dure while they waited out a late-sea­son snow storm. I stood in the vast shadow of the Cana­dian Na­tional Vimy Memo­rial, and ran my hand across the names of our Cana­dian heroes. In the pres­ence of such a place, I mar­velled at the for­ti­tude, the strength and the de­ter­mi­na­tion that these young men pos­sessed to ac­com­plish what they did.

It is in­spir­ing, and con­tin­ues to in­spire me not only as a proud res­i­dent of HuronBruce, but in my ca­pac­ity as the Mem­ber of Pro­vin­cial Par­lia­ment for our great rid­ing, to en­cour­age peo­ple to re­mem­ber.

Dur­ing my time in of­fice, I’ve had the op­por­tu­nity to sup­port the DutchCana­di­ans Re­mem­ber as One or­ga­ni­za­tion, which worked tire­lessly to see Princess Mar­griet of the Nether­lands come to Goderich to hon­our the mem­ory of twenty Huron County men who lost their lives in the lib­er­a­tion of Hol­land dur­ing World War II.

I’ve worked with com­mu­nity vol­un­teers to shape some of the 551 pop­pies, one for each of the Huron County men of the 161st Bat­tal­ion who lost their lives in World War I, that were dis­played at the Goderich ceno­taph last year.

I try my best to al­ways demon­strate my be­lief in the great work of our lo­cal com­mu­nity Le­gions, and those who con­tinue to stand strong for free­dom and peace. I ad­mire my friend’s son who has en­listed, and has left for train­ing in Que­bec.

While Novem­ber 11 be­gan as a day of re­mem­brance for the men and women of the Great Wars, we con­tinue to re­mem­ber all those who have lost their lives in com­bat since then, and the brave peo­ple who choose to serve.

We all re­mem­ber in dif­fer­ent ways, but what eter­nally re­mains im­por­tant, is that we re­mem­ber, three hun­dred and sixty-five days a year.

As Re­mem­brance Day ap­proaches once again, I en­cour­age all res­i­dents of Huron-Bruce to take part in the day’s ac­tiv­i­ties and re­mem­ber those who gave their lives in ser­vice, as well as those who are cur­rently serv­ing through­out the world in the name of free­dom and peace, Lest We For­get.

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