Many saw my post last weekend about visiting Ottawa from the US for the Sens/Hurricanes game. While there, I had the honor of attending your Remembrance Day ceremony. My wife and I waited an hour and a half to get a good view and to say it was life changing would be an understatement.
I have served in the US military for 10.5 years now and I my unit is gearing up for another deployment to the Middle East next month. The amount of respect that has been instilled in Canadians for their great military and the ones that have given the ultimate sacrifice is beyond words.
While we do have a day to remember our fallen, where I live in North Carolina has nothing like it. Our Memorial Day has turned into businesses marketing sales for the their products and average citizens using it as a day off work to go to the beach or barbecue. The true meaning has been lost. But not in Canada. No. You all understand the sacrifice these men and women have made and choose to stand outside in the freezing cold for hours honoring their memory. Tears streamed down my face as I watched the pride in your eyes as different branches of your armed forces marched past, the claps for the veterans, some in wheelchairs and some barely able to stand as they put their age and pain aside and marched past in formation. It was beautiful.
I will be wearing a poppy every year from now on. I told you it was life changing and I meant it. Your fallen will never be forgotten by this American, no matter what happens. Thank you for being such hospitable hosts and showing me there still is hope and pride in the greats who have walked before us.