How do you say thank you to the men and women
who risked their lives, and lost their lives to secure our freedom,
our way of life, our peace and prosperity?

How do you say thank you to the men and women
who went through the most terrible experiences of their lives,
surrounded by death and carnage, losing friends and loved ones,
seeing things that would change their lives forever?

How do you say thank you to those who went through all this
with the belief that their one life, whether lost or saved,
could make a difference, had to make a difference, for our sake,
the generation they had not even met yet?

How do you say thank you to the men and women
who had faith in us before we were even born,
faith that we would become people worth fighting for,
and worth dying for?

How do you say thank you?

You honour their sacrifice with your own life.

You go to war against your faults and failures.

You conquer all the things inside you that make this world
a worse place to live in; worse for your family, friends, neighbours, co-workers.

You fight to make the small space in the world that you touch a better place.

You win the battle for your own soul.

You be good and do good; you live selflessly, remembering the example
that the veterans, both living and dead, laid down for us.

You live life so well that those who remember the horrors of war
look on you with satisfaction and pride and are comforted,
never feeling for a moment that you weren't worth the price they paid.

on remembrance day - kevin ranville - november 11, 2000