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A Day to Remember

freedom love peace remembrance Nov 11, 2017

Every day should be a day to remember.

November is the time when the poppy pins appear here in Canada.

When I first moved here, almost 15 years ago, I wondered why everyone was all of a sudden wearing the poppy pin. A tradition unfamiliar to me. Though the sentiment was, and is very familiar and personal to me.

My mom and dad lived in Rotterdam during the second world war. Well, they weren’t mom and dad yet, they were teenagers and had not met yet.


 My mom                                                                    My dad.


I was born in Rotterdam.

Rotterdam was heavily bombed and my parents lived the terror of the bomb alarm going off and running down into the concrete shelter under the house. Big parts of the city were destroyed and many died and lost loved ones. You can still see clearly which parts of the city survived and which part didn’t. The new stunning architecture is blended in with the old buildings that are still standing. Just walking through the centre of town reminds you of the war.

The winter of 1944 was the worst. My mom was about 15 years old, the oldest of 9 kids. There was no food, the winter was extremely cold that year and the Germans were relentless. My mom told me they ate last year’s flower bulbs, just to have something in their tummy.

The bond that the Dutch have with the Canadians is eternal. Eternal gratitude for helping free their country from the Germans in 1945. In the Netherlands, Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) is celebrated every year on May 5th, right after Remembrance Day on May 4th, where the whole country has 2 minutes of silence at 8:00PM.

This is very impressive, when standing on the Dam square downtown Amsterdam, with hundreds of people and you can hear a pin drop……it brought out the goosebumps and tears.

The whole country still celebrates May 5th to this day, dressed in bright orange, dancing, laughing, playing, flea markets everywhere. Celebrating the joy of life, the joy of freedom.

However, I wonder how much of the reason for this fun is forgotten.

What good has ‘lest we forget’ done for us?? Have we learned anything? Anything at all?

What good does it do, to remember those brave ones who gave their lives, when we don’t appreciate our lives most of the time? What are we doing with that freedom they fought so hard for? Shouldn’t we really be grateful AND give meaning to our lives now, so that we can truly enjoy the gift of that freedom?

There is no real peace in this world as long as we keep the hate, the fear, the separation, the fighting with words and weapons alive and roaring.

Each individual is taking part in this disgraceful truth when judging, complaining, blaming, finger pointing, and hating.

Today, we live in a global society. The world has become small and we know what goes on every where in the world, in real time.

Every day, we are reminded of the wars and violence. The hate and injustice. The changing climate and economy.

Who is taking responsibility to make a difference?

How are you making a difference?


Never forget that every day is a gift, life is precious and always do your best to express your appreciation in any way you can.

Be kind, feel and show empathy, let go of grudges and forgive.

Let your intention be to make people laugh, to smile, to be kind and care.

Make every day a brand new beautiful day so that at the end of each day you have lived and loved and have no regrets.

Every day, honour those brave ones that gave their lives so that we can live ours.

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