2014 – A Year to Remember
This has been an emotional week. Remembrance Day has meant a lot to me ever since I stood on Juno Beach a few years ago, but this year has added personal significance since I survived my near-death experience in July.
That day on Juno Beach I was somehow transformed into 1944. I knew I should not have been there but I stood fascinated as Allied soldiers, including my Dad, stormed the beaches under heavy enemy fire on D-Day. How am I to relate to such horror? Such courage! How am I to fully appreciate how he came home from the war and was such a good guy and father?
All I can do is appreciate how lucky I was to have had Mom (she was overseas in World War 2 with the Canadian Red Cross Corps) and Dad in my life. And for the opportunity to be on radio this week to share my story and honour them and all who have served to protect our country.
This year, of course, is different. Personally, I am three and one-half months into a challenging recovery from a major heart attack. I remember three months ago when I could not walk up a flight of stairs. I could not walk 10 minutes without being exhausted. I could not even eat a meal without perspiring afterward. I have come a long way since then but have a long way to go to get back to full strength. I appreciate just being here to remember, to enjoy my first grandchild, and to live each day as though it is special because IT IS special!
This year is also different because of the two soldiers who were senselessly killed in Canada. They were not fighting in dangerous enemy territory – they were at home serving their country and honouring those who had fallen before. This was not supposed to happen. It is easy to see why more Canadians were involved this year in remembering.
Our freedoms and quality of life cannot be taken for granted as many others on our planet have seen first hand recently. This year we remember, we support, and we stand on guard for our way of life. Thank you to all of those who serve our country to make Canada a wonderful place to live.
The radio interview can be heard at: Your Life, Unlimited with Stephanie Staples and John Hindle. My segment begins about the 7:15 mark.
May all of you find the courage and strength to manage whatever challenges you are going through and to remember to celebrate your victories and achievements no matter how small they might seem. And may we all remember those who have and are protecting our way of life. This is indeed a good year to remember!
John Hindle, The Contact Hitter