(Above) Commissioner Floyd Tidd, territorial commander, places a wreath at the national war memorial in Ottawa on Remembrance Day
Once again this year, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we will pause to remember. “If we do not,” writes Heather Robertson in A Terrible Beauty: The Art of Canada at War, “the sacrifice of those one hundred thousand Canadian lives will be meaningless. They died for us, for their homes and families and friends, for a collection of traditions they cherished and a future they believed in; they died for Canada. The meaning of their sacrifice rests with our collective national consciousness; our future is their monument.”
We will choose to remember men and women from across Canada and Bermuda for their service and sacrifice. We gather, wearing poppies, pausing for two minutes of silent tribute. In light of such great service and sacrifice, how then shall we live? We understand that our greatest remembrance is expressed in how we live the other 364 days each year.
Each time we represent The Salvation Army at the national war memorial in Ottawa on Remembrance Day, we stand in the shadow of the bronzed uniformed figures from all services passing through the granite arch, reflecting the theme of “The Great Response of Canada.” At the dedication of the monument, King George VI remarked, “One sees at a glance the answer made by Canada when the world’s peace was broken and freedom threatened in the fateful years of the Great War. It depicts the zeal with which this country entered the conflict.”
As I stand at the monument, I represent The Salvation Army, known for its zeal to enter the conflict where peace is broken, hope shattered and faith challenged. An Army that follows the lead of our captain, Jesus, who made the ultimate sacrifice. He said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13 NLT). Through his death and Resurrection, there is peace with God and life eternal for anyone who believes in him.
On this Remembrance Day, we remember those who fought and died for others, but we also remember them in the way we choose to live throughout the year. Let us follow the lead of Christ, prepared to lay down our lives that others might be saved. Remembering, we choose to go “in the strength of the Lord, to conflicts which faith will require, his grace as [our] shield and reward, [our] courage and zeal shall inspire!” (SASB 959).
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On Thursday, November 11, 2021, Kathryn Allan said:
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