COLUMNS: On Nov. 11, say thank you to vets

As Remembrance Day approaches, it is fitting to reflect on the importance of this day as a way we can show our gratitude.

As Remembrance Day approaches, it is fitting to reflect on the importance of this day as a way we can show our gratitude to the men and women who have served Canada in times of combat throughout our history.

The service and sacrifice of these brave few allow the vast majority of us to enjoy the peaceful, safe existence we can often find ourselves taking for granted.

On Nov. 11, we have the opportunity to honour those who have fought and fallen for our country to secure this peace — and the servicemen and -women, doctors, nurses and auxiliary forces who have risked their lives in the line of duty.

It’s also a time to remember that not all wars are in the distant past. It’s an important reminder of the struggles that many of our veterans face, whether in the form of coping with post-traumatic stress disorder or with the transition from military service back to civilian life. Support for these veterans can come in many forms — from their families and friends, through government programs or funding and non-governmental organizations and non-profits such as the Royal Canadian Legion. When it comes to supporting them as a community, we can donate to our local Legion branch — especially during their annual poppy campaign, from which all proceeds go toward support for serving and retired veterans and their families. Ultimately, however, it is difficult to find an appropriate expression for our gratitude. And that is why Remembrance Day is so important: it represents an opportunity for our communities to show the fullness of our respect and appreciation for our veterans through participation in commemoration events.

This Remembrance Day, I encourage all of you to purchase a poppy and attend a memorial ceremony in support of our veterans. As your MLA, I would like to extend my personal thanks to all Veterans past and present within our communities — your sacrifices will never be forgotten.

Contact MLA Barnett’s constituency office: Phone: 250-395-3916; e-mail: donna.barnett.mla@leg.bc.ca

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.

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