As an immigrant in a new country, you have to get used to new holidays that you didn’t celebrate in your home country. Depending on your level of assimilation with the new culture, I guess you may or may not really be impacted by what the holidays stand for.
I’m not sure why but this year, I was especially touched by Remembrance Day in Canada (Veterans Day in the USA) that is celebrated on November 11 of every year to remember the troops that died in various wars over the past 80 or so years. Canada has been participating in the current war for a while so it’s not like this is the first Remembrance Day where our troops are at war, but this one hit me more strongly than usual.
Maybe it’s because I read the local and national news a bit more diligently, and not a day goes by without mention of more troops who have lost their lives for the freedom of others. Maybe it’s seeing the families of the dead on television during repatriation ceremonies, sobbing: new widows or widowers, parents who have lost their children, young children who have lost a parent. Maybe it’s thinking of what I would say or do if one of my brothers (or in the future, one of my children), decided that (s)he wanted to join the Canadian army. It’s a noble calling, but I don’t know if I’d be able to bear it! Or maybe it was going to the fallen soldier’s memorial during my lunch break, and standing solemnly with others who were there to pay their respects, and seeing veterans of past wars in uniform, medals shining. Whatever it was, I was touched this year.
So this Thursday, I am thankful for the men and women who fought for Canada’s freedom so that families like mine could move here and call this place home. I’m thankful for the opportunities that this country has provided, the potential there is to follow your dreams without any real fear. I’m thankful for the men and women who continue to fight and for the ones who have gone, may their deaths never be in vain. They must not be forgotten so I hope I’m always impacted this strongly on Remembrance Day.