Remembrance Day: An opportunity to say thank you

I was fulfilling my reporting duties by attending and photographing two Remembrance Day ceremonies last week — one at Eckville High School

Ceremony - Sylvan Lake News features writer Jasmine O’Halloran–Han with WWII veteran Ken McBlane during a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Sylvan Lake Lodge last week.

I was fulfilling my reporting duties by attending and photographing two Remembrance Day ceremonies last week — one at Eckville High School, the other at the Sylvan Lake Lodge. I love my job, but that day out of all days, I experienced a real light bulb moment.

Both ceremonies were beautiful and paid due respect to veterans and fallen soldiers. But it wasn’t until I met Ken McBlane, a WWII veteran, at the Sylvan Lake Lodge that I was hit by the reality of what Remembrance Day is truly about.

After our conversation, I am now even more motivated to commemorate Remembrance Day and show my respect to veterans and fallen soldiers. Remembrance Day is an opportunity for me to personally thank them.

At the Lodge’s ceremony, I stood and listened to the solemn music playing, and my mind took me back in time.

I imagined Ken as a young man and working in an office, as he told me he wasn’t on the front lines, but was still serving in the war. I then imagined myself wearing a nurse’s uniform and looking after men who had been wounded in combat.

The war would have been in every aspect of people’s lives: No matter who you were, you were affected by it somehow.

Being a 29-year-old woman, my husband would have been sent away to fight. For contact, I would have had to rely on receiving precious paper letters sent all the way from the trenches. How precious it would have been to receive letters telling me that my husband is still alive.

I imagine I would have had at least two kids, but these kids would have been growing up living with Grandma and Grandpa while their mother (me) was serving as a nurse to show her allegiance to her country. Who knows when or if I would see them again?

Now, I will admit right now that I literally can’t imagine what that would be like as I do not have children. I can only speculate the horrors that would be brought upon a mother who is ripped away from her own flesh and blood because she is forced to put her allegiance to her country first and foremost, and above her family.

When I finally came back to reality, I realized that I owed the man sitting beside me a huge thank you. And that’s exactly what I told him.

I owed Ken a huge thank you for not only my freedom, but for being brave and helping to make this country as great as it is.

With a new awareness of what Canadian life was like during the war, I want to express my gratitude to all veterans and fallen soldiers who sacrificed more than I could ever dream of.

Thank you for providing us with a country where we are free to be ourselves, dream big and reach our personal aspirations.

 

Just Posted

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Sylvan Lake Atom C Lakers end season on low note

The Lakers played their final home game of the season, Feb. 16.

RDC Kings Hockey to play charity game in Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake Community Partners was chosen by the Kings as the Charity of Choice for the Feb. 22 game

Bibles for Grads 2019 looking for names of Grade 12 students

Bibles for Grads is an annual tradition in Sylvan Lake dating back more than 20 years.

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

Hee-Won Son takes home gold in 500m Female Short Track Speed Skating

Team Alberta sits in second place overall at the Canada Winter Games

Shots fired in Maskwacis home invasion

Maskwacis RCMP are searching for three suspects in a home invasion (with photos)

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Crude-by-rail shipments set new record in December despite lower price discounts

Canada exported nearly 354,000 barrels per day of oil, up seven per cent from November

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

Maskwacis woman dead, Wetaskiwin man charged with murder

RCMP Major Crimes Unit charge male with first degree murder

Most Read