Aaron Hemens is the editor for the Creston Valley Advance. Photo: Rame Kader

Aaron Hemens is the editor for the Creston Valley Advance. Photo: Rame Kader

Column: The importance of remembering

For me, Remembrance Day is an opportunity for me to reflect and preserve the memories of my grandfather and my great grandfather. They were two men who dedicated their lives to serving Canada and the Commonwealth so that I — along with the rest of the nation — could live a peaceful and prosperous life.

My great-grandfather, Walter Hemens, served as a medic in the First World War. I never had the opportunity to meet him, so everything I know about him was shared by my father and his father.

Great-grandpa Walter was the focus for an assignment I did in middle school. I remember I went to my grandfather, Stan, to hear the war stories that were told to him by his dad.

I remember being very proud upon learning about the bravery of my great-grandfather, and being very grateful for the risks that he had taken which ultimately helped pave the way for my family’s arrival in Canada.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember much of the details of his time in the war, and to make matters worse, I misplaced the assignment long ago. What I do remember is that he lived through the war, but had experienced a great deal of horror and trauma. He would later relocate from England to Canada to start a new life here when the war ended. My grandfather has since passed, so I have lost that crucial source of my family’s history as well.

From time to time, my great-grandfather will cross my mind. And I think of my grandpa quite often, who served as an air traffic controller with the Canadian Armed Forces for 32 years.

For me, Remembrance Day is an opportunity for me to reflect and preserve the memories of my grandfather and my great-grandfather. They were two men who dedicated their lives to serving Canada and the Commonwealth so that I — along with the rest of the nation — could live a peaceful and prosperous life. Both may be gone, but their sacrifices and commitment live on.

Observing Remembrance Day is to honour acts of selflessness, courage and heroism. With everything going on in the world, this year’s Remembrance Day serves as a great reminder of how lucky we are to live in Canada.

I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have put on a uniform, who have served our country without asking for reward. On Nov. 11, I’ll be thinking of my grandfather and his father, as well as the hundreds of thousands of Canadian men and women who committed their lives for the betterment of our country.

Not everyone has the courage that you possess, and I thank you.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: aaron.hemens@crestonvalleyadvance.ca


@aaron_hemens
aaron.hemens@crestonvalleyadvance.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Column

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Fruitvale woman charged with impaired driving in 2019 crash that killed 2 teens

A 15-year-old boy and 18-year-old woman, both from Fruitvale, died in the crash that sent the vehicle into the river

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

CMHA players can’t travel outside of their community to play games until at least next month. Photo: File photo
Castlegar Minor Hockey Association pauses game play following new COVID-19 health protocols

The association currently can’t play teams outside of their community

Downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Appointments made to Castlegar’s housing and advisory committees

Fourteen people have been appointed to serve on the housing committee.

L-R: Kootenay Co-op general manager Ari Derfel, grocery manager Erin Morrison, and security guard Akshay Sharma. The Kootenay Co-op has hired a security company to protect staff from abusive customers who don’t wish to wear masks. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Mask acceptance varies between different business outlets in Nelson

A small percentage of shoppers have tried flouting the rule, and Kootenay Co-op has hired a security guard.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

Most Read