To be perfectly frank, I struggled with what to write for this article, and many times I erased what I had on my computer screen to start over again. Normally, I’d be inviting you to remember those who sacrificed their lives for peace, and especially remember those who made the supreme sacrifice with their lives and died for the peace and freedom that we have today. I’d be calling on you to come to the Aud, where we’d have all the pomp and circumstance that Remembrance Day deserves. However, you know just as well as I do that that’s not quite possible this year. We’re unable to celebrate many of the major holidays in the ways we’ve become so used to. And yes, it’s awful that we can’t commemorate Remembrance Day in the way we’ve become used to. I’ve always been impressed with how seriously Virden takes Remembrance Day – we usually pack out the Aud, have all the pomp and pageantry that this day deserves, and remember and give thanks as a community together in one place.
All of this reminds me of the words of one of the hymns we would sing: “what shall we pray for those who died?” How do we commemorate Remembrance Day when we can’t do many of the normal things we do? I think one of the lessons we’ve learned in this whole thing is that it’s the simple things that’ll help us get through this. And perhaps that is what we need to remember: that even though we have to keep things simple, we can still do something to remember those who gave their lives in the different theatres of war.
It really doesn’t matter what you do, but at the very least, I do invite you to pause at 11am on November 11th and give thanks for the sacrifices of those who have gone before us, and those who currently serve in the Canadian Armed Forces. We’ll be having a very simple service this year in the Legion Hall, which we’ll be livestreaming. More information on that can be found in other places in this paper.
No matter how you decide to remember those who gave their lives for friends they never knew, I invite you to remember those who made that sacrifice for us, for as Jesus tells us in the Gospel of St. John: “greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.”
The Rev'd Fr. Matt Koovisk
Rector Tri-Valley Parish (Virden, Elkhorn, Melita and Reston)