On Remembrance Day, we think of veterans who fought wars on foreign shores so that we might be free.
It's not entirely true, or at least not the truth in its totality. The Korean War was unlikely ever to spread to Canadian shores. It's unlikely the expansionist interests of the Nazis could realistically have reached our continent - a logistical nightmare to manage.
Our veterans and soldiers in service today aren't over there fighting for us, but for something beyond us.
As Canadians, there are certain values and freedoms we hold dear; along with them come certain responsibilities. We believe in peace, order and good government - and where others suffer because those things are absent, we feel a duty that extends beyond national borders to the good of humanity on the whole.
Our soldiers fight so that others may be free, may live unshackled by the brutality and fear of oppression, may reach their individual and social potential as a whole.
When I travel to Europe with my grandfather, a World War II vet, he is held in the highest regard. Even to children, he is seen as a saviour. It's a very humbling thing. To these Europeans, Canadians are seen as champions of liberty, good governance and a willingness to sacrifice so that others may enjoy what we have.
That's what it's all about - sacrifice. Soldiers are more than paid public servants; they are defenders of our highest values. They sacrifice themselves so that others - ourselves, our children, our foreign neighbours - may be free to participate in civil society in a manner of their own choosing.
It's this truth that we must never forget.
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