“The democratic freedoms that so many of us might take for granted – the freedom to express ourselves, to participate in cultural, religious, and political activities, to come and go as we please, to associate with whom we please, and to pursue a safe and happy life – are all due to the sacrifices of Veterans and those who serve today. …Let us be thankful. Let us never forget.”
A Column from Dave Augustyn, Mayor of Pelham in Niagara, Ontario
Posted November 6th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – The weather this past Sunday, November 5th was mostly dreadful. The leaves on the ground and the chill in the air reminded us that Autumn was upon us.
But the rain – at times nearly torrential – reminded us of what soldiers endured in the trenches in far-away lands.
And yet, Pelham residents took time to gather with members of the Royal Canadian Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary, the 613 Army Cadets, the Pelham Fire Service, and others at the Cenotaphs at Centennial Park, Old Town Hall, and Peace Park and during a special church service at Fonthill United to commemorate and remember the sacrifices of Pelham’s Veterans.
Each Remembrance Day it is right to remember those brave men and women who have served, and who continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace.
We honour them for their courage, their commitment, and their devotion to standing “on guard” for Canada.
The democratic freedoms that so many of us might take for granted – the freedom to express ourselves, to participate in cultural, religious, and political activities, to come and go as we please, to associate with whom we please, and to pursue a safe and happy life – are all due to the sacrifices of Veterans and those who serve today. They sacrificed their futures so that our future might be one of peace and happiness.
Yet, we must also recognize that war and conflict are man-made. They develop from traits inside each us and from our actions and inactions. War and conflict arise from those times when we have not sought justice, from those selfish moments when we have deadened our spirit to the needs and to the sufferings of others.
Instead of allowing those negative qualities to grow, let us strive to listen to each other with an open mind. Let us reopen our hearts to the needs of others. And, let us rededicate ourselves to peace and justice in our community and around our world.
Engraved on the cenotaphs throughout our Town are the names of those from Pelham that were killed in service. May their memories also be engraved in our minds and on our hearts.
Please consider joining in this year’s Remembrance Day commemoration this coming Saturday at Veteran’s Park at the Royal Canadian Legion on Regional Road 20, starting at 10:45AM.
As we celebrate our freedom together and commemorate Remembrance Day, let us be thankful. Let us never forget. And let us rededicate ourselves to justice and to peace.
You may contact Mayor Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or read past columns at www.pelhammayordave.blogspot.ca.
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