Today is the 102nd anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
On April 9th, I always take some time to remember what the battle did for Canada. Two years ago, I stood at Vimy Ridge amid thousands of teenagers in red windbreakers and uniformed military from Canada, France, and England. While it’s a proud day for Canada, it’s also a terrible day of mourning too. We achieved in 4 days what others couldn’t over months. We solidified our national identity. And, we suffered tremendous loss. Today, I thank those who were there, and those who came home, and those who now carry that proud tradition.
There are no Great War veterans are still alive, but there are many other veterans from many other battles who struggle every day. You don’t become a soldier because it’s glamorous. You become a soldier because you want, more than anything, to Do The Right Thing in the world. Sometimes that’s peacekeeping, sometimes that’s battling back a Bully.
This Lent, may I remember those were (and are) willing to do the right thing, to stand up to bullies, and to push through the horrors until the job was done. May I be grateful for the sacrifices (whether huge or tiny) of everyone who stands up for what’s right – soldiers, students, all of us. May I use my gifts to make the world a place where less sacrifice is required.