By: Amir Khan, Communications Generalist, writing about Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day (Nov. 11) is a time to remember and pay our respects to those who have answered the call to service, who put their freedom on pause to fight for the freedom of others often half-a-world away.
MOSAIC staff member Grace Valentin-Douglas is an Employment Services Advisor. Her husband, Kevin, a former Canadian Armed Forces member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry regiment was deployed as part of the Canadian peacekeeping contingent of United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in the former Yugoslavia during 1994. The operation itself spanned between 1992-1995 to establish and maintain a humanitarian corridor for those affected by the conflict, often placing former soldiers like Kevin in harm’s way.
“It was my honour to serve in the Canadian Army as an infantry soldier and to serve overseas in the former Yugoslavia as a UN peacekeeper,” says Kevin as he reflects on what Remembrance Day means to him.
According to the United Nations Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the regional conflict, particularly in Bosnia-Herzegovina, saw over 100,000 killed. An estimated two million people were forced to flee their homes as civil unrest gave way to discrimination and ethnic cleansing. Regional factions, each with varying political and ethnic affiliations fought for control. During operations in the Balkan region, 23 Canadians lost their lives with more injured according to figures by Veterans Affairs Canada.
“Remembrance Day means a great deal to me, a time to remember the sacrifices made by men and women for the freedoms we, more often than not, take for granted. On November 11 at 11 a.m. pause for a moment and give thanks for those who paid the ultimate price and for those who stand on guard today,” Kevin says.