IN 1914 a political assassination in Serbia led to a war that would rage for four years and see 20 million people killed. There had never been anything like it before. The nations fighting agreed to lay down their arms at 11 am on November the 11th 1918 – the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
At Christian Life Church we have our own memorial to these sacrifices, a plaque commemorating the death of Jack Wilkinson, whose family once farmed the land this church is built on.
That war was a long time ago. There are only 22 people alive today who were in the armed forces during World War One. Only one is a Canadian, Gladys Powell, who served as a barracks waitress, and now lives in Abbotsford. She is 108. But many Canadians continue to serve their country in uniform. Over a hundred Canadians have died serving as UN peacekeepers and 72 have been killed in Afghanistan, the largest number in a single conflict since the Korean War ended in 1953.
Canadians take a great amount of pride in being among the peacekeepers of the world, but we often come up short when honouring the men and women whose efforts and sacrifices make this role possible. On this date, the 89th anniversary of the end of the First World War, we take a moment from our busy schedules to remember and to thank the more than one hundred thousand Canadians who have died serving our country all over the world.