Editorial: Why I remember

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News Article / November 10, 2021

By Emily Lindahl, D Air PA

Every year, at 11:00 am, on November 11th, Canadians pause to honour the fallen as well as veterans, both living and gone. They also pay tribute to those serving in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

Growing up in Ottawa, Remembrance Day meant row after row of veterans from both World Wars, parading through downtown. It meant pipe and drum bands, service groups, and members of the CAF in parade dress. There were Silver Cross Mothers who stood alone to grieve for children lost. Guns were fired and planes flew overhead. As years passed, I watched the ranks of those who fought in World War I diminish, followed by the numbers of our World War II veterans.

The demographic of Canadian veterans has changed since the first Canadian Armistice Day in 1921, which evolved into Remembrance Day in 1931. Veterans from various global wars or conflicts and peacekeeping missions now make up the parade rows. We recognize and grieve the losses suffered during training missions and daily operations.

Through all of these changes, there are still an infinite number of reasons to remember. On November 11, 2021, I will remember:

  • My paternal grandfather, Warrant Office Reginald Saunders
  • My two great uncles; Arthur Ostrander and Arthur McDonnell
  • My husband’s paternal grandfather, John Lindahl, who fought in both World Wars
  • My husband’s maternal grandfather Philip Roche who joined the Army for WWII
  • My husband’s paternal uncle, Ronald Lindahl, former member of the RCAF
  • My husband’s maternal grandmother, Lottie Roche, who worked as a civilian at the Atlas Steel factory in Welland, Ontario making munitions during WWII
  • My friends who have served, or who continue to serve, in the Canadian Armed Forces
  • All of my colleagues in uniform at the RCAF and the Department of National Defence
  • Each of the inspirational members of the RCAF and the CAF who have allowed me into their lives over the last few years, so that I can share their stories.

I encourage Canadians to take time during National Veterans’ Week 2021 to consider who you will be remembering on November 11th and why.

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