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We must remember them

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There is a famous line in Lt.-Col. John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields.

"To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high!"

It is one of the most powerful phrases in a poem that commemorates the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers in the First World War. Those words look to the next generation to do its part for its country, as an homage to the sacrifice of those who paid the ultimate price to preserve the freedoms we enjoy.

Remembrance Day ceremonies should be mandatory in schools. We believe that it is impossible for the next generation to grab the torch thrown from failing hands when the next generation isn’t present to receive it. For that reason, we want to see mandatory Remembrance Day ceremonies in our schools.

Remembrance Day ceremonies are not just to commemorate the lives of those who were killed in battle so we could walk free. Remembrance Day ceremonies offer important history lessons on how Canadian independence and the growth of the Canadian nation materialized through struggles in the trenches in Europe. That independence and the defence of values we hold dear were forged further through combat to keep peace through United Nations-sanctioned missions. We added our words and deeds to combat terrorism abroad in Afghanistan, and later helped train police and military forces in Afghanistan as a way to help a country recover from decades of war.

I believe it is important to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies to say thanks to the veterans who survived these battles, as well as to the families of those who never returned. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to attend one of the Remembrance Day services in your community if you are able to do so.

If you can’t make it to one, the national Remembrance Day service is televised. It is also a good idea to donate, as generously as you are able, to Poppy Day funds, as the money goes to assist veterans who need housing or placement in care facilities, medical research and other seniors services.

We must take time to remember the horrors of war in hopes we never have to keep fighting them. We must remember the fallen, lest we forget.

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