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

Water quality advisory issued for Sunnybrae water system

Not a boil-water advisory but users urged to take precaution

Uptown Tim Hortons intersection in Salmon Arm bumped from traffic circle plan

Shuswap Street and 10th Avenue SW, Kal Tire at 5th Avenue and 10th Street SW now top priorities

Next for Salmon Arm underpass: build new tracks to avoid construction area

‘Pretty big area’ of downtown to be affected, city staff hope to keep impact to a minimum

Shuswap fire departments gear up for annual toy and food drives

Donation-gathering event very important for Eagle Valley Community Support Society

Salmon Arm chosen for suicide prevention study

City stood out for efforts already being undertaken in the community

Kelowna remembers road crash victims

The eighth annual the World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims was held in Kelowna

Kelowna to host 2021 Tim Hortons Brier

The last time Kelowna hosted the tournament was in 1968

Federal laws at heart of West’s anger up for debate, as Liberals begin outreach

Vancouver mayor to Trudeau’s western critics: ‘Get over yourselves’

Snowboard pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65

He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011

Pawsative Pups: To crate or not to crate

Lisa Davies is a new columnist for Black Press who writes about dog training

Teen developed ‘popcorn lung’ due to vaping: Ontario doctors

Boy went from being in perfect health to being on life support after just five months

B.C. judge tosses ‘N’ driver’s claim he was just using phone to decline his mom’s call

Distracted driving laws are more strict for Class 7, or Novice drivers, the judge noted

Back-to-back car fires in Vernon

Two SUVs engulfed in flames snuffed by firefighters in two weeks on Commonage Road

Vernon man wanted by police

RCMP ask for public’s help in locating man charged with aggravated assault

Most Read