I remember well that warm September day in 1939. I stood with my dad and a neighbour on the sidewalk of our small town and listened to them discuss the fact that war had been declared and therefore unknown implications faced us in the future.
In the days that followed, it was a common sight to see our boys in uniform board the train that would take them to their training base, the first leg of their journey to the war and battles overseas. Our schoolteacher went, as did our young neighbour Jack. Many, Jack among them, made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives for our peace and freedom.
In due time, young women also enlisted. The bloody conflicts took thousands of young Canadian lives. Heroes and heroines rose to the occasion, displaying great courage and a deep, deep love for family, friends and country.
May we never forget, may we always remember, the high price paid and the valiant men and women who bought with their blood what we enjoy today.
People, most of whom we never met, did more than their share for God, country and us.
Today is Remembrance Day in Canada and other Commonwealth countries. It is a day when we remember our fallen dead from the First World War, Second World War, Korean War, as well as Afghanistan conflict and peacekeeping missions.
Remembrance was first observed in Great Britain and the Commonwealth at 11 a.m. on November 11th, 1919, as dedicated by King George V. The hostilities of the Great War officially ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. This was called “The war to end all wars” – but wars continue – lest we forget – we pause to remember.
I was too young to join the armed forces during the Second World War, but I did proudly wear the uniform of a Royal Canadian Army Cadet. I listened to the newscasts and was aware of the battles, the destruction, the loss of lives, the blackouts, the rations and the sacrifices.
At great length came VE Day and finally VJ Day, victory and rejoicing. And on Nov. 11th, 1945, another Remembrance Day, and with thankful hearts we remembered those who died for us.
We proudly wore the red poppy, a symbol of the red blood poured out on battlefields to bring us peace and freedom.
The greatest battle of all the ages was fought just outside the city of Jerusalem on a hill called Calvary. There Jesus Christ, Son of the living and eternal God, defeated the powers of darkness when He gave His life a ransom for sinners.
The Bible says of Him: (Revelation 5:9 ESV) “… you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”
The church ordinance, commonly called “The Lord’s Supper,” is an observance of Christians to remember the Lord’s death until He comes again. We remember His body broken and His blood shed that we can have our sins forgiven and experience peace with God.
It is right today that we remember our fallen military. Let us also remember our living Lord and His sacrifice for us.
Eddie Bradley is pastor emeritus at High Way Church.