Pastor Hal Arthurs, Keswick Christian Church

I’d like to welcome you here this morning to commemorate and to remember those who gave their lives for our country and our freedoms.

We thank those who served our country and we thank those who are still with us, but every one of them came back different than when they left. So this morning we are gathered here to remember those and to celebrate the freedoms that were won on our behalf.

We’re here to commemorate and to commend to God’s keeping those who have died in the defence of justice and freedom.

“They shall grow, not old as we that are left grow old. Age shall not worry them, nor the years condemn at the going down of the sun. And in the morning we will remember them.”

We will remember them.

I would like to read to you a short poem that was penned by Moina Michael some years ago and it goes like this:

“We cherish, too, the poppy red that grows on fields where valour led; It seems to signal to the skies that the blood of heroes never dies.”

There are important things that we deliberately choose to remember today. We pause to remember and give tribute to the sacrifice of those who laid down their lives on battlefields on our behalf.

A wise man once said, greater love has no man than he gives his life for his friends and that’s exactly what our men and women that we give tribute to today have done. They laid down their lives for their nation of friends. It was a costly sacrifice and today we give tribute to the choices they made and the tasks that they performed.

They could have refused to serve, but they did not. They wore the uniform and for that choice, we give them tribute today. They wore the uniform to be unashamedly identified as being a member of our armed forces or our merchant Marine.

They moved into harm’s way. When the battle began, they did not run. They could have, but they did not. They chose to think of others, not themselves. Knowing the risk, those we give tribute today did not cower from the task.

They engaged in the battle and in doing so, they paid the price. Some came back broken in body and in spirit. Some paid the ultimate price. They gave their lives. They remain faithful to the finish.

They were close enough to be in the range of the enemy, maybe even close enough to look the enemy in the face. Many even charged the enemy. Some attracted the attention of the enemy to divert fire away from their comrades. Even in the face of death, they served faithfully and they died so that others could remain free.

Their sacrifice enables you and me to enjoy our lives to their fullest. They died so we could become all that we could be. Today people across Canada express their gratitude. Flags will be placed, parades will be held, wreaths will be placed, taps will be played, and in some places even firing of guns for a salute and rightfully so.

These activities express gratitude for the price that others have paid for our freedom. I urge you to join me in spending a moment to thank God for those who went ahead of us, for those who paid the ultimate price.

Let’s bow our heads.

Dear heavenly Father, we thank you so much for those who have served and those who currently serve. Father, they are our sword against the darkness. And Father, we thank you for their sacrifice and we thank their families for standing by as they serve. We thank you in the name of your son, and our saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Pastor Hal Arthurs recites lord’s prayer
Ward 2 Councillor Dan Fellini places the wreath for Town of Georgina
Ward 1 Councillor Mike Waddington places the wreath for Canada
Residents place poppies on the cenotaph
Silver Cross Mother Anne Wilson places her poppy


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here