Today is Remembrance Day. It is the 11th day, of the 11th month and many nations around the world including Canada celebrate the contributions made by servicemen and servicewomen towards world peace.
I am a very fortunate human being. I have not seen war. The closest that I have ever witnessed it was on TV or videos and pictures on the internet. Violence is not a part of my everyday life, and while I may get nervous walking down a dark street sometimes, I am always in comfort inside my home. I never have to worry where my next meal comes from and I am never forced to do anything that I do not want to do.
I am free.
The reason I am free to live is a result of the sacrifices made of the people before me. While some of those people have sacrificed their families, their livelihood and body parts, others made the ultimate sacrifice: their life.
I am grateful for their sacrifice, not just today but every day I live in peace.
My grandfather, Herb Nagle served in the Canadian Army and Canadian Airforce for 14 years (1950 -1964). While he is no longer with us, I remember the quietness that would come over his voice whenever he spoke of his tour of duty in Korea. Grampy did his best to save us from the visual details of war, you could still feel it in his voice. Yet, even with that memory of the front line of battle on his mind, he always exuded the pride of doing and standing for what he believed was right.
I understood that pride.
A few months before his death at his final Remembrance Day ceremony, he asked me if I would keep his medals should anything happen to him. I was honoured to be asked and graciously accepted. I proudly display his medals in my home as a monument to the sacrifice that he had made to keep my home safe from the threat of hate, violence and war.
Thank you, Grampie for the service you have given our country.
I will remember you.
Here are the Canadian service medals that he earned:
- Canadian Korean Medal (http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/medals-decorations/details/24
- Canadian Volunteer Service – Korea (http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/medals-decorations/details/25)
- Special Service Medal (http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/honours-history-medals-chart/medal-ssm.page)
- United Nations -Korea (http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/medals-decorations/details/26)
- Canadian Forces Decoration (http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/honours-history-medals-chart/medal-cd.page)
- Commissionaires Long Services Medal (http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/honours-history-medals-chart/medal-commissionaires.page)