Six stories from local Canadian veterans who have deployed internationally in the past year

Canadian veterans

In the year that has passed since the last Remembrance Day, six soldiers from local Canadian veterans army units have deployed on international missions to Ukraine, Lebanon, and Latvia. They were asked a series of questions recently to get a sense of what they do on these missions and what they’ve learned, both about themselves, their mission, and the countries that they deployed to.

What should Canadians think about this Remembrance Day? 

  • Democracy does not come free. The fight against corruption, autocracy, and apathy continues today.
  • As Canadians even though we have a diverse history and broad spectrum of personal experiences most of us were born in a free and unoccupied country and cannot fathom a daily struggle for freedom and independence that is happening in other countries around the world even today and has happened in generations past.  I would encourage Canadians to really think deeply on what it means to be free and the sacrifices made by many people to keep it this way including time away from families, hardship and difficulty with daily tasks and the ultimate sacrifice when necessary. 
  • Canadians should always remember soldiers stand for Canadian values both domestically and abroad, and that men and woman have died defending our values. As well, soldiers who have come back home with both physical and mental injuries that changed their lives forever. Remember that they went on deployment to represent Canada.
  • The world is quite different than it was last year. With the pandemic and Canadians staying at home, it is easy for people to forget why we celebrate Remembrance Day.  Canadians should think of creative ways to show their remembrance to the Fallen. Remembrance Day is a part of Canadian identity. Preserving this identity is important and we can do so safely. Wear your poppy during your online conferences/Zoom meetings maybe!
  • Canadians should be thinking about those who gave their life for their country and those serving overseas now.
  • I feel grateful that Canada has a strong democratic society, that it is multicultural. Generally Canadian’s take some pride with having strong environmental values. Canada is open, free travel is normal and uninterrupted by the state. Freedom of speech and right to hold peaceful protest are normal. I can’t say 100% for sure that all of these things gains were given to us by our soldiers in conflicts.  I do recognize, though, that without their commitment and sacrifice we would be living in very different society.

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