Remembrance And Its Importance

Ideally, I would have had this post written and online if it weren't for a second wind of the cold I'd thought had been vanquished by my immune system. In all honesty, I was waylaid last night while enjoying a glass of dry white wine. I'm guessing that the histamines in the wine likely triggered the symptoms and sent me to bed early. 
Perhaps it was better that way as it gave me some time to really consider Remembrance and its importance in this day and age. Especially with two serious boiler pot conflicts that have thus far remain contained (thankfully) going on in the world.

What Is Remembrance Day?

Remembrance Day, is the day we've picked to give thanks and to consider the incredible sacrifice that our veterans have given, in past and present conflicts to this day, and how our right (privilege) to be able to  freely consider our place in the world was afforded by the sacrifices of such veterans. 

However, Remembrance isn't something that should happen one day a year. Its something ongoing. Something that occurs to us every day, or at the very least, every once in a while, especially when our lives are getting us down and in most cases, over trivial matters whose importance we've inflated with our own minds. At those times its important to consider what our veterans have given, because quite often they are at the front lines of protecting our way of life and our ideals.

Most of us take for granted these ideas and for even more, they simply mean nothing more than a few words on official documents that we call bills and legislation. Ideas such as those do mean nothing, that is until you lose those rights and have to fight for them. In many other places in the world, the rights we enjoy here simply do not exist and are not set in stone.

Our veterans are those people who've put to task protecting those ideas, if not for us, then for others whose are at stake.

Putting Remembrance Day Into Context And Its Relationship To Recent Events

On October 7, 2023, a series of coordinated attacks, conducted by the militant group Hamas, from the Gaza Strip onto bordering areas in Israel began what Hamas operatives would refer to as Al-Aqsa.  October 7th was a Saturday, essentially a Sabbath day and date of several Jewish holidays. The attacks began in the early morning with a rocket barrage of at least 3,000 rockets launched against Israel and vehicle-transported and powered paraglider incursions into its territory. Palestinian militants breached the Gaza–Israel barrier using an extensive network of tunnels they'd been preparing over the last decade, murdering civilians in nearby neighboring Israeli communities and attacking military bases.

Imagine if you would, you're fast asleep in your home and you're suddenly awoken to the sound of your front door being kicked in. You hear yelling and screaming outside in the streets as an entry ram is being used to bash your front door open. You and your wife quickly get up and out of bed to check on your children, and find yourselves under brutal attack by a group of armed men. One of them levels a gun at you, and fires a warning shot narrowly missing you and your wife.

They aren't very well organized, and their leadership hierarchy isn't strictly enforced, meaning that these people are essentially an armed mob, many of them seething with adrenaline and anger towards Israeli citizens, and they've gained entry to your Israeli home. Throughout the same community, other similarly armed groups are entering into other houses, and you hear gunfire, suddenly realizing that these men are killing your neighbours and their children.  

The gunmen argue amongst themselves for a moment, and then grab you and your wife and drag you out onto the street and send you with another group of men, where you're about to be dragged down into a dimly lit tunnel. All while the sun still hasn't risen.

Suddenly, the men come under attack. Gunfire erupts from down the street, and you witness two of your assailants drop to the dirt with severe chest wounds as they're gasping for air. You manage to break free of your assailants thanks to the distraction, and make your way back to your home to find that your children are already gone and likely have been taken down into the tunnel network.

You decide to check your shelter, a carefully constructed room hidden in your house beneath the ground and covered by a stretch of carpet. To your relief, you find that your children, thanks to your having run them through numerous drills on what to do if such a situation occurred, managed to lock themselves in the shelter. With nobody looking, you tap on the door and give your children a code word, and they open the door to let you in. You close and lock the shelter door and retreat into its furthest reaches huddled up with your children to wait the situation out.

Their case in this hypothetical scenario based upon a reconstruction of an actual account (I learned of by reading an article on Haaretz), turned out so much better than it did for many families who were set upon in the darkness of early morning in their sleep by armed gunmen. In this case, their opportunity to get free of their captors was afforded by a group of soldiers from a nearby base, all of whom were gunned down after their noble and valiant effort to protect the people.

Remember that many people were simply murdered in their beds. Women and children too and that all the time this was happening, there were no protests elsewhere, anywhere in the world urging Hamas to call off their attacks and to cease the slaughter of innocent Israeli citizens.

Remembering the efforts of veterans who in the face of such a grave threat, gave their lives to ensure that some families might escape the clutches of the Hamas attacking force is the very essence of what Remembrance Day is all about. Just because it happened to a different people in a different country, doesn't make it any less important to the entire world, especially in the context of Remembrance.

In the midst of all this, remember that the people of Palestine are not the targets of the IDF war. Its the extremist groups like Hama: bullies and cronies who've been essentially held the Palestinian people hostage, impelling them to support a conflict that they clearly do not want. However, being a Palestinian in the midst of these extremists who hide behind hospitals and schools, is a very dangerous thing, especially to express support of nations who are currently operating against Hamas or Hezbollah. Palestinians are the shields being used by the extremist militants that conducted the October 7th attack on Israel. They want free of that tyranny as much so as does Israel.

Heroes: Courage, Valour And Sacrifice In Our Past - At Home And Abroad

Just as the incredible stories of sacrifice given by Israeli Defence Force soldiers to protect families against an attacking force on that day, so there are numerous stories of courage and valour in the midst of seemingly hellish conditions that truly signify what it is to be a hero, who in these cases to which I'm referring are veterans of our Armed Forces.

I've collected a series of sites detailing the stories of such courage and valour, either on the scale of the group (attacking or defending forces who went above and beyond the call of duty), or the individuals who through their action signify the importance of Remembrance.

A collection of Remembrance Day resources organized by region, that also includes many historical artifacts from a variety of eras, each of which has its own story.

A great site that details the liberation of the Netherlands during World War II via the Battle Of The Scheldt. The liberation of the Netherlands was a key moment in the turning point of the war and an operation in which Canadians, British and Polish units played a key role in its success.

These great resources are brought to you by The Canadian War Museum, whom you can also support by donation or by donating artifacts from the war from your own family collection.

In The Air: A Flyer's Remembrance by Flight Lieutenant Lloyd Berryman

A great resource for information about flying the Spitfire during World War II by a pilot of the Second Tactical Air Force RCAF. He includes his experiences from World War II, and years later, as a veteran representing air combat pilots at various Remembrance Day ceremonies.

In The Air: Life And Death Bomber Command by the Imperial War Museums

Want to know what it was like to be a part of a bomber crew during World War II? Then you might want to check this site out. It details every aspect of a crewman's life during the war, not to mention the greatest threats to their survival.

On The Sea: The Canadian Navy

A great site hosted by the Canadian Government that covers a wide variety of stories and interesting facts about the Canadian Navy and the regions where it has played a crucial role in serving the country and its allies.

Check the Heroes Remember section for interviews and stories from actual members of the Navy and other Armed Forces services.

This site details the stories of Canada's involvement in the Korean War, including accounts by the men who were there.

Stories From Abroad

We don't often hear about China's role during World War II, but they were crucial to the success of the allies on many endeavors on both the European and Pacific fronts.

Here's a great tale of the contribution of an astounding group of soldiers from India, who played a key role in the success of the operation at Dunkirk.

Under attack and against overwhelming odds, an injured man holds off an immense attack over the course of four days. 

Here are ten stories of the courage and valour of ten Japanese-Americans who went above and beyond the call of duty for the fellow soldiers, and their country, despite the fact that many Japanese in North America during the war were rounded up and kept in work camps.

A story from the American involvement in the Korean War, details the experiences of Salvator "Sal" Scarlato, from the hell of war to acts of compassion. 

Sometimes the most heroic of efforts can come from the compassion shown by enemy combatants on the field of battle. Here are three true stories that show that even in the worst of times, goodness can prevail through the compassion of those we oppose. From War History Online.

Women once again played a key role in the development of intelligence networks throughout Nazi occupied Europe. Read about the story of these real life heroes at this site from iconic publisher Time Magazine.


I hope that each of you searching to get in touch with Remembrance and its importance, found something here from this collection of informative sites. Really though, what it all comes down to is that if you take the time to consider that we're standing on the shoulders of giants, the veterans themselves and much of what we have to be grateful for arose from their courage and in many cases, their sacrifice, then their efforts are not lost to the annals of time and erosion of history.

Lest we forget.

As an added bonus, I've republished my story - The Butterfly Dragon: Three For Women, a collection of three short stories, whose first story directly involves a retelling of events from the Korean War. Also, I've decided to repost The Butterfly Dragon: What Different Eyes See - Vietnam Special Addition chapter from the What Different Eyes See book. Its a self contained story within What Different Eyes See that sees our protagonists forced down to a Vietnamese airport as part of a request to have them investigate a deep seated Vietnam wartime family mystery.

Seeing as I feel mostly recovered, I'll be back on duty this week, writing most content for the most recent episodes of The Butterfly Dragon, and the most recent story in the A Lady's Prerogative series. I hope that you enjoy. Not to mention, my Birthday is this week, somewhere between November 13th and November 18th.