We Stand on Guard for Thee

I didn’t get a poppy this year. And i’m pretty peeved that I never got around to it. I thought there was going to be another opportunity to get one, as the few times I was in the presence of a veteran, I didn’t have any money on me. And now I feel like an idiot.

Now I sit, and as I watch the coverage of the ceremonies in Ottawa on CBC, I cry. I cry because it is a beautiful thing to watch and take in that people died for me. That people died for an idea of freedom that I am so blessed to benefit from. That parents continue to raise children that see the benefit of joining a cause that is bigger than them, that is worth their lives.

It’s not the first time that I have cried when I start to sing the Canadian national anthem. It doesn’t escape me that I live in a country that is free. That I am free to sing an anthem. That I am free to learn and free to worship who and where and when I want.

We stand on guard for thee.

Except I haven’t stood on guard for anything. Men, women, children and animals have stood on guard for thee. And I am so thankful that they did.

There is no coincidence that I was born here. There was a greater plan for all of us that have been blessed with being born here in Canada, that have made it to live in Canada, etc. We have a greater responsibility for those that cannot stand on guard for their countries. We have a role that is here to fight for those who can’t.

What I am in awe of right now is that there are people (and have been people) that were scared and young, that believed in the concept of FREEDOM. That lived and died to fight for the idea that we all deserve to be free. To fight for something that is bigger than them so that we can all benefit from this idea that I believe we should all have access to. And they felt the fear and did it anyway. They fought ANYWAY.

So I cry because I am grateful and blessed. I cry because so many people take these people for granted. I cry because so many people do not have respect for those that came before us, and those that are fighting right now to preserve this idea that is bigger than all of us. To do the right thing. I cry because it’s hard to imagine that we are still fighting for this idea now, in 2013.

I guess I am writing this because I want to extend my gratitude to those who fight for me. I also want to put this down so I remember that I have no excuses to face my fears for something bigger than me. I have no excuses to be afraid and quit when so much blood has been shed for the beautifully bountiful life that I lead. And I want other people to know that we all have to do our part to contribute to this idea of freedom – to preserve these rights and privileges we benefit from, and to fight for those who cannot.

The question I have today is this: What if you just did what you could? No one is really asking you to fight overseas against those who are intent on stealing our freedoms. But what if you could just vote? Give blood for those who lose some of theirs? Write a blog post of thanks? Do something so that what these people have done and continue to do is not in vain.

I intend to feel my fear and do it anyway so that I don’t continue to take this life I have for granted. I hope that in my small actions, those people who have died and continue to fight know that I support them and support this idea that freedom has to be protected, it cannot just be assumed.



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