Remembrance Day has meant something to me since I was a child. The town I grew up in all came to the cenotaph, no matter what the weather.

But it means even more now.

Our daughter, in the navy, went overseas twice into a combat zone. Our son-in-law went on an extended tour as a padre, also in a combat zone. We have a second son-in-law who is a Major in the army. I am a COC (Civilian Officiating Chaplain) after training at Canadian Forces Base Shilo. I am also a member of the Royal Canadian Legion.

It goes further. Military friends of our children became casualties of war. We have felt their grief with them.

Even further we have good friends who came from Holland. The Dutch have remained grateful that it was Canadians who liberated their country in 1945. Again this year our friends posted their gratitude on-line.

But Canada no longer closes schools on this day. Somehow it is not important for decision-makers, and I don’t buy the smokescreen excuses they use. Since we are babysitting two of our grandchildren in their home this week we went to the school assembly. There was art on all the walls. The ceremony was well-planned. It was peculiar to be there instead of the cenotaph at home, but it was a good experience.

So I honour those who have sacrificed to the limit for their comrades and country. I honour those who, in their role as military, stand ready to die for citizens and home land.

And I have been honoured to serve such people as a padre.

We will remember them.”