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  • Writer's pictureSoliloquies Concordia

Remember Us

By: Jayde Lazier

Image Credits: "Red and White Wooden Cross" By Nathan .J. Hilton


For all the soldiers who have fallen, for all the soldiers who are still here to tell the story, for all the families that endured the pain of losing their loved ones: we salute you, and we remember you. We will continue to honour your courageous actions and your family’s undying support and love through our empathy and acknowledgment of your sacrifice.


Although I have never experienced this type of sacrifice firsthand, it is a reality that my family has experienced since WW1. Beginning with my Great-Great-grandfather Harper Lawson Lazier, who served as a lieutenant commander in WWI, WWII, and the Korean War. Or my Great-Great-grandfather Nigel Holbeche, who served as a pilot of a heavy bomber squad in the Battle of Britain. My 2nd cousin, General Timothy Lazier, lost his life fighting in Kuwait in the early 90’s. Someone whom I never got the pleasure to meet in my lifetime but who holds a special place in my heart nonetheless, my grandfather, Donald Grant Lazier, served as a private for two years in Germany during WW2. So, as you can probably see, I’ve grown up hearing stories of the war my whole life. More specifically, what it was like for my family members to have to make the sacrifice of letting their loved ones go off into danger without knowing if they would return. I’ve also heard stories from the perspectives of my family members who served and how the undying love and support from not just their families but from their countries is what pulled them through and gave them the strength to return.


Now even to this day, we continue to acknowledge members of our military in Remembrance Day ceremonies across Canada by reading a poem entitled “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae. This poem was written in the spring of 1915 after one of McCrae’s closest friends was buried on a battlefield along with many other soldiers who passed. All with graves marked with a single wooden cross and poppies blooming all around the soldiers’ graves, as if the world was giving its thanks to their service. This prompted John to write a poem about seeing these beautiful poppies grow on the blood-soaked fields. To remind us of all the beauty that can come out of a tragedy, as well as it was a way to give a voice to the soldiers who couldn’t tell their own stories.


“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.”


This poem teaches us three core values: faith, sacrifice, and love. The faith that we as a country must have in our servicemen and servicewomen to fight for our freedom. The faith that our service people need to have in themselves to withstand such a traumatic and life-altering journey. Most importantly, the faith that family members of service people need to carry with us at all times to maintain the hope for a positive outcome.


Now, to touch on love and sacrifice. Familial love is one of the most powerful forms of love that we have in this world, the type of love that continues despite all the sacrifices that one has to make for another person. The love that will wait years for you to come home and love you even more when you return. But despite this love, there are still challenges that military families will go through. People who have not served in the military can often struggle with understanding the experiences and emotions a soldier feels upon returning. Soldiers may struggle to reintegrate back into the family dynamic, which can cause further disarray in a family. The sacrifice that is needed by a military family and our military personnel doesn’t end when the war does.


In fact, there is a multitude of long-term negative effects for the soldiers themselves, which can vary between genders. Sarah Moore touches on these differences through her article entitled “The Impacts of War on Global Health,” which she wrote for a medical news site called “News Medical Life Sciences.” An example of gender differences may be a man who has served time in the military or experienced combat is “traditionally more likely to die or become injured in battle.” A woman, meanwhile, is more likely to be left to face the lasting consequences of conflict on her health.” On top of that, the health risk is much more significant for a woman involved in war than it is for a man, as access to obstetric care is non-existent in war countries, which “significantly impacts the safety of giving birth.


All of this is to say that war brings many negative and life-altering effects to everyone who is directly involved or by proxy such as military families or citizens of these war-torn countries. Unfortunately, the fight to keep our country and other countries safe will continue, but this is why we have Remembrance Day. So, take a few hours out of your day to remember those who have fallen in the fight for peace and thank those who are still fighting for it. Additionally, Remembrance Day is a time to thank all the families for their sacrifices and the undying love that has fueled our military to endure all the hardships that they have and will continue to face.


A family’s love is a powerful force that lets your family members know that you are there for them and you have their back through the good and the bad. This support gives people strength unlike anything else. It is because of military families’ love that our soldiers have the strength to go out and fight for freedom and peace. So let Remembrance Day not just be November 11th, but let it be every day that we acknowledge the sacrifices made for us and our lives. Let us take a moment of silence, let us read “In Flanders Fields,” and hear the voices of all the soldiers who couldn’t tell us their stories. Let us just simply Remember.


Works Cited:

In Flanders Fields. (n.d.). Retrieved October 2023, from Royal British Legion: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance/about-remembrance/in-flanders-field#:~:text=In%20the%20spring%20of%201915,growing%20in%20battle%2Dscarred%20fields.

John McCrae. (n.d.). Retrieved October 2023, from government of canada: https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/people-and-stories/john-mccrae

Marsh, J. H. (2011, November 7). Remembrance Day In Canada. Retrieved October 2023, from The Canadian Encyclopedia: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/remembrance-day

Marsh, J. H., & Foot, R. (2016, May 3). In Flanders Fields. Retrieved October 2023, from Brittanica: https://www.britannica.com/topic/In-Flanders-Fields

Moore, S. (n.d.). The impacts of war on global health. Retrieved from News Medical Life Sciences: https://www.news-medical.net/health/The-Impacts-of-War-on-Global-Health.aspx

Moore, S. (n.d.). The impacts of war on global health. Retrieved October 2023, from News Medical Life Sciences: https://www.news-medical.net/health/The-Impacts-of-War-on-Global-Health.aspx

Moore, S. (n.d.). The impacts of war on global health. Retrieved October 2023, from News Medical Life Sciences: https://www.news-medical.net/health/The-Impacts-of-War-on-Global-Health.aspx

Moore, S. (n.d.). The impacts of war on global health. Retrieved October 2023, from News Medical Life Sciences: https://www.news-medical.net/health/The-Impacts-of-War-on-Global-Health.aspx

Moore, S. (n.d.). The Impacts of war on globla health. Retrieved from News Medical Life Sciences: https://www.news-medical.net/health/The-Impacts-of-War-on-Global-Health.aspx

Pazarro, J., silver, R. c., & Prause, J. (2006, February). Physical and mental health costs of traumatic war experiences among civil war veterans. Retrieved October 2023, from National library of medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1586122/

Remembrance Day. (n.d.). Retrieved October 2023, from War Museum: https://www.warmuseum.ca/firstworldwar/history/after-the-war/remembrance/remembrance-day/

The effect of trauma on military members and their families. (n.d.). Retrieved October 2023, from McClean Hospital: https://www.mcleanhospital.org/essential/military-trauma

The mental health effects of war: backed by science. (2022, march 28). Retrieved october 2023, from Utah Healthcare: https://healthcare.utah.edu/hmhi/news/2022/03/mental-health-effects-of-war-backed-science#:~:text=The%20World%20Health%20Organization%20(WHO,.%22%20Depression%2C%20anxiety%2C%20and

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