Castor honours Canada’s veterans

Holds Remembrance Day service

By Kevin J Sabo

For the Advance

Canada as a nation is just over 150 years old, but in even the short time it has been a nation our soldiers have proven themselves in war and in peace.

From the battlefields of Europe during both World Wars to the war in Korea, to the latest action our troops were involved in Afghanistan, the members of our military have served with distinction around the world during war-time. Our soldiers also donned the blue beret of the United Nations in peacekeeping missions around the world.

Nov. 11 marks a century since the guns fell silent at the end of World War I. Canada has celebrated this day as a member of the Commonwealth since King George V of the United Kingdom inaugurated the memorial in 1919 as a way to remember the horrors of war and the men lost.

“We continue to remember,” said Castor Legion President Lyn Holloway during his address to the almost 300 people who attended the Remembrance Day service at the Castor community hall on Nov. 11.

The brave men and women whom have and continue to serve in the armed forces do so knowing that if sent to war they may be asked to make that ultimate sacrifice, and it is a sacrifice that many communities across the country have unfortunately seen. Even the small community of Castor has not been immune to the loss. Eight young men from the small community lost their lives during the first World War, and since then 27 more names have been added to the list of war dead.

More than 100,000 men and women have given their lives in the service of their country, however, many more came home injured after conflicts ended.

“There are no unwounded soldiers,” said Holloway during a later part of his address, in reference to the incidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in returning veterans.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder manifests in those who have experienced severe trauma. Initially called “shell shock” and seen in veterans returning home, PTSD was officially recognized in the 1970’s in American troops coming home from Vietnam, and its symptoms can include flashbacks and nightmares months or years after the trauma took place. Medication and therapy can help reduce the symptoms of the disorder.

Many arguments have been seen over the years describing Remembrance Day as a day that glorifies war. Remembrance Day is about more than war. It is about acknowledging the history of our country. It is about understanding why the members of our armed forces choose to serve abroad and put their lives on the line for others. It’s about honouring the ones who gave their lives so that today all Canadians can live in a country that is open and free. Most importantly it’s about learning from the mistakes of the past, so we don’t repeat them in the future.

Lest we forget.

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