This Friday, millions will hopefully pause, even if just for a few moments, and remember those lost in battles around the world or who have fought and lived to tell of their horrific experiences in war.

Remembrance Day is also a day that is becoming all the more poignant in recent times with the ongoing conflicts raging overseas.

Canadians know this harsh reality all to well.

We’ve now lost 158 young Canadians in Afghanistan, the latest being Master Cpl. Byron Garth Greff formerly of Lacombe.

It’s important to remember that these lives were not lost in vain, and that is true on many levels.

Not only were they fighting and working to bring stability and peace to parts of the world where such virtues are terribly scarce.

Their deaths are also a vivid reminder of how vigilant citizens must be to guard the gift of peace we enjoy here at home and across much of the globe.

Closer to home, losing young people from our own country these days strikes a chord not only with Canadians in general, but with younger citizens in particular.

When the world is in relative peace, Remembrance Day can be a tough day for youth, not to mention many adults, to relate to.

People might go through the motions of attending services, but the concept of war and loss is difficult to connect with when things seem so good.

Often young people, luckily for them, have little to bridge them to the wars of the past.

Even young adults and ‘baby boomers’ can be estranged from what it felt like to witness the realities of war – even from a safe distance.

If you didn’t have an uncle or grandfather in either world war, you just didn’t grow up hearing much about the scale of brutality so many lived through.

But with the current loss of young men and women overseas, the meanings of Remembrance Day surface again.

We grieve for these young lives recently lost, and are reminded of the loss of thousands of young Canadians who gave their lives during the First and Second World Wars, the Korean conflict, and peacekeeping missions around the world.

And no matter when the losses happened – in the 1930s, the 1950s or today, families and friends are united in their grief.

On Remembrance Day we’re united in a common cause – to ponder what has been given for us – recently and in years before many of us were even born.

The relevance of the day must never be forgotten.

The point is it’s not just another day off — too much has been lost and too high a price has been paid for anyone to have careless attitudes about such an important day.

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