Remembrance Day holds a special place in Canadian’s hearts. We all have early memories of gathering in school gymnasiums to listen to the stories of our vets, the trumpet playing ‘The Last Post’, and the meaningful moment of silence to acknowledge the sacrifices given to us by men and women we may not even know.
In the military, you’re more likely than most to see life-threatening occurrences- be it through combat, peacekeeping missions, disaster relief, or training. Trauma to me may not be trauma to you; pain is experienced in different ways for everyone. Someone who is living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder witnessed an intense incident, causing them to have stressful, intense reactions to reminders of that.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is very real and very present, especially in the armed forces. This Friday, consider how much time it may have taken veterans to get out of bed this morning and convince themselves to get ready to participate in any Remembrance Day activities-knowing that this day could bring back unwanted memories, thoughts, and feelings about the time they served. They deserve all of the respect we can give- smile a little brighter and look a little deeper into their eyes as you shake their hands.
Go out and watch the parades, ask children why we wear poppies, be thankful we live in a safe place- but understand that this day may a source of pain for many veterans. It's so important to treat everybody with kindness, because you never know what another person is going through."
Written by Campus Rep Jenna Robar
Edited by Kelsey Schroeder