Are You Living a Life Worth Dying For?
As Remembrance Day comes to us again this year, I wanted to mark this occasion with a heartfelt “Thank you”.
Thank you to the men and women who fought during the first and second world wars, and those who have given their lives since that time for an idea, a dream, our future, and the overall protection of our country.
Hope and Joy in Their Sacrifice
While many people like to spend Remembrance Day in sober contemplation, I believe that we also need to be joyously grateful for the lives that we now enjoy as a result of their sacrifice. Men and women have laid down their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we now have.
We need to rejoice that we have been able to enjoy a life where we have freedom of expression, religion, equality rights, and so much more. While there is always room for improvement (is there any system that is perfect?), I believe that we need to rejoice in the strides that we have made.
When a loved one dies, many people decide to have a “celebration of life” ceremony, as opposed to a funeral where many people mourn the loss of the individual. With Remembrance Day, I believe that we need to have both the quiet contemplation, and a celebration of the freedoms that we now enjoy as a result of the past and present sacrifices people make for the lives that we take for granted.
A State of Reflection
In a state of reflection, I believe that the people who fought and died for our country did so because they had something worth sacrificing their lives for. Whether it was the protection of their family that led them to serve, patriotism, or the dream of a better world, they fought and lay down their lives for more than their own profit. The sacrifice was real and cost them and their families much.
I challenge you today: Are you living a life worth dying for?
Millions of people have laid down their lives (from various countries) over the century to ensure that you have the life and opportunity that they could only dream of. Have you made their sacrifice worth dying for?
If you woke up tomorrow and the state of the world demanded that you pick up arms, would you do so because you had something to fight for, something that put an unquenchable fire in your belly?
If your answer is “no”, assess what is missing in your life. If you met a veteran tomorrow, what freedom would you thank him or her for? I do not simply mean “freedom of (lets say) religion” (because that sounds good, right?). I mean, what freedoms do you enjoy as a result of their sacrifice (and what would you fight to protect?)? Instead of one of the generic (yet still important) responses, specify how it adds significance to your life.
For example: “Thank you for fighting for my freedom in Canada, so my family and I can pray without fear of arrest or persecution for our beliefs.”
Now that’s real. That’s worth dying for.
This Remembrance Day, pay tribute to, and rejoice in, the freedoms we now enjoy as a result of their sacrifice – but also go one step further. Look into your own life; have you honoured their sacrifice? Are you living your life to the fullest and entrenching your dreams and aspirations in the things that our veterans sacrificed for?
Simply, our veterans sacrificed for the dream of a better world; are we living out that legacy?
Lest we forget.
_ _ _
IN FLANDERS FIELDS
The World’s Most Famous WAR MEMORIAL POEM
By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium
by Brienne Torley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada License.