Today is Veteran’s Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada. No matter what country or Holiday Title, it’s a day both countries have set aside to remember those who have fought for our individual rights and the freedom we enjoy as citizens of North America.
I am thankful to each and every veteran on both sides of the Can Am border. I’ve had the exceptional pleasure to live in both countries and I give thanks to the men and women who have made it possible for us to have freedom of choice in our lives.
As we officially recognize the important role the veterans have played in our quality of life, we also need to recognize and remember them on a daily basis. It’s easy to forget as we get caught up in the intricacies of life, but every time I put on a certain ring, it prompts me to give thanks.
My grandfather was stationed on a minesweeper in the Pacific Ocean during WWII. He worked in the engine room keeping the ship in motion. He was the single most influential person in my life and many of my values are based in beliefs he instilled in me. All his life experiences helped to mold him into the exceptional person he was. The story below, is the only one I ever heard from his days in the Royal Canadian Navy.
On a short shore leave my grandfather decided to propose to a young woman he had fallen for. He wanted her to know he’d be back to marry her but didn’t have enough money to purchase an engagement ring. His shipmates knew this and each chipped in a few dollars to loan to him so could present a ring with his proposal. My grandmother loved to joke that she had been engaged to the entire crew of the Miramichi.
My single most prized possession is the engagement ring my grandmother willed to me.
They’re both gone now but every time I look at it I see the eternal love they had for each other. I also see beyond to the closeness of a crew wanting to help a fellow sailor, to a crew sweeping for and clearing mines to keep other ships safe, to supplies safely delivered to troops that fought for our safety and freedom.
I strive to have a positive impact on the people in my life as my grandfather, and all veterans have had on mine, and I am eternally thankful to them that I don’t have to risk my life in process. My ring symbolizes those feelings and when I look at it I am filled with love and gratitude.
Is there anything in your life that makes you stop and give thanks to our veterans the rest of the year?