Every year, we become a little more removed from the events that gave rise to Remembrance Day. Also, in this part of the world, many of us don't have first-hand experience with war. It's easy to take this for granted. So let's not.

This November 11th, let's embrace more than two minutes of silence. Let's consider how we can honour those who sacrificed their lives. How can we pay tribute?

Know the facts
Spend a few minutes brushing up on your knowledge of Remembrance Day and related history. Lest we forget.

Visit a memorial
Sixty-one thousand Canadians were killed in World World I. Many others died in subsequent wars. St. Catharines' Victoria Lawn Cemetary has 61 war graves from both world wars (31 from WWI and 30 from WWII). If you're nearby, visit them. Just seeing all the veteran crosses on the north side of Queenston Street is thought-provoking and emotional.

Make a personal connection
Do you know anyone who served in the military? Do you have family members or ancestors who've experienced war? Spend some time researching your family's history. Take a few minutes to listen to another's story. There's a lot we can learn from each other that often goes unsaid.

Practice Gratitude
We're living in peacetime here in Canada. For that, we're grateful. In Niagara, we have an abundance of beauty all around us. We have clean air to breathe. What else makes you feel grateful?

Exercise Your Freedom
We often hear people say that soldiers died for our freedom. Do you live freely? Or do you feel like you're at others' mercy? That you have no choice?

Freedom is about choice. Do you set your intentions and make decisions that reflect the truth of who you are and what lights you up? Honour lives sacrificed by honouring your life. Start there.

Exude Peace and Kindness
We know that our emotional states are contagious. So don't underestimate the good you do when you're a centre of calm and peace, especially when others around you aren't.

Kindness is also a choice often expressed through small actions. When you're driving in heavy traffic, consider letting in a car in front of you. Buy a coffee for the next person in line. Run an errand for a neighbour. Surprise someone with flowers. Get creative! Kindness can be a lot of fun.

Thank you for taking a few minutes with us here to consider those who came before us.

Lest we forget.

November 08, 2022 — Antoinette D'Angelo

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