July 14th, 2024

Let us not ever forget the sacrifices of vets

By Lethbridge Herald on November 10, 2023.

Al Beeber

Lest we forget. Three words we read and hear throughout October and this month leading up to Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 11 – tomorrow.

As clouds of war begin block the sunshine on an increasingly global scale, those words have more meaning than ever.

Thousands of Canadians have given their lives to preserve the way of life we are privileged to enjoy today. And we are privileged to live in this country, which certainly isn’t perfect by any means but we are extremely fortunate to live under democratic rule, where people have a say in determining their own futures.

We have our way of life because of sacrifices of the men and women who have served in the Canadian military and the civilians who did the essential work on the home front to keep our armed forces fed and fighting.

We owe them all our gratitude. Those sacrifices are still being made to this day by our Armed Forces community whether serving at home or on peacekeeping missions around the world. 

Today’s veterans are our neighbours, our children perhaps. With those who served in the Second World War – like their First World War comrades – now mostly departed, we honour not only them but so many who have followed in their footsteps serving Canada.

This year The Herald approached Remembrance Day coverage from a different perspective by trying to provide stories about its importance and providing information in a special section that will hopefully give a better understanding of this important day.

As war rages in the Middle East and Ukraine, and the world’s fragile peace increasingly becoming unstable, we don’t know when Canadians will next be called to serve on the battlefront.

At some point, our next group of high school graduates may not find themselves heading not to university but rather to boot camp to face the same horrors so many youth have faced in previous wars. If Canadians go to war again, many will return in caskets or not at all. And those who survive will undoubtedly endure the same emotional traumas and physical scars that other surviving war veterans have dealt with too many times.

It’s a frightening thought but hopefully not an inevitability. And that’s why it’s essential we never forget, and always remember, the bravery of those who served our country and who too often lost their lives in that service.

Remembrance Day this year has special significance for all of us because we are living in dangerous times.

Tomorrow, let’s all reflect on the sacrifices made for our benefit. Let’s show our support for our veterans by going to the Cenotaph or the Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre for the 11 a.m. services. Let’s make sure we all wear a poppy to show our support and respect.

Let’s not ever forget, and let’s pray and hope our youth never again have to go to war to protect our country.

CONDOLENCES TO THE RALPH AND SHURTZ FAMILIES: On a personal note I want to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Darcy Ralph who died last weekend.

Darcy was one of the kindest, gentlest human beings I ever knew. On the rare occasion I had the pleasure of seeing  him he always had a smile and a friendly word.  He was a true gentleman and a wonderful  human being. 

He will be missed.

And closer to home our own reporter Delon Shurtz lost his mom on Wednesday, which is absolutely heartbreaking for me and my colleagues because Delon has been part of the Herald family for decades. And his loss is felt by all of us. 

To Delon, his wife, Sue and all their family I extend my sincerest condolences on behalf of all of us here at the Herald, which in the truest sense of the word, is a family.

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Food for thought Al….
Deepest condolences To Delon and his Family…and the Herald Family as well.