Growing up, our family never did much celebrating on Remembrance Day. You see, we didn’t believe in war, so it seemed out of place to honour those who did. We didn’t wear poppies.

But, as I’ve expanded my horizons, I increasingly appreciate the outcomes achieved by those who did participate.  Without the sacrifices that led to victories in the Second World War and the Cold War, for example, who knows what our life would be like?

Imagine a life like those currently under restrictive regimes, for example in the Middle East, where you might get thrown in jail for wearing the wrong clothes, or die for being of the wrong religion.

This Remembrance Day, I’m thinking of the freedom that our troops won for us.

– the freedom from fear of immanent war over our heads.

– the freedom to vote however we want (even for the Rhinoceros Party, if we so choose).

– the freedom to think our own thoughts, without interference.

– the freedom to speak publicly about what we believe.

– the freedom to own land and our own home, which hasn’t always been there in some countries.

– the freedom to make mistakes, because out of mistakes we become better people. I’m not sure who the wise person was who first said, “Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement,” but they were right.

– the freedom to write blog posts to 6000 people at a time, without concern of censorship.

– the freedom to honour those who helped secure our freedoms.

Today, I’m wearing a poppy.