The frail few that remained from the first great war continued to carry memories into this century, soaked in tears from the unspeakable horrors they witnessed a hundred years ago.
Those who survived the Second World War who still walk among us carry that same weight of sorrow from wells that run 70 years deep. Survivors of more recent conflicts bear the scars of experiences that may never fully heal.
That is why we stand shoulder to shoulder, often uncomfortably in the winds and rain of November, holding the hands of our fidgety children, shushing them while explaining in hushed tones the significance of the occasion they cannot fully grasp at their tender age.
We bring them along and try to explain, as our parents did with us, that we are there on the 11th day of the 11th month to pay our respects to those who have fallen, and to those who continue to serve.
Whether you attend to acknowledge the passing of a parent or grandparent, relative, family member or friend, we all stand together in their shadows.
They served through the worst deeds mankind is capable of inflicting upon itself, had comrades die in their arms and saw friends blown to bits to preserve the freedom they so selflessly passed along to us without pause or question.
That is why we stand in silence on this hallowed day in November; it is the reason we devote that solitary moment of silence after the bugle’s last mournful notes, to each and every one of them; past, present and future.
It is a pittance we pay for the gifts they have given us, but it means much to those they left behind.
It is their selfless acts that make Nov. 11, Remembrance Day, more of a holy day than a holiday, and it’s for the sake of those brave souls that we must always strive to remember.