My family and friends have heard my stories about Remembrance Day in Europe when I visited the Canadian war cemetery in the Netherlands with other members of our high school concert band. Walking among the gravestones that day, before we recorded our memorial tribute for later airing in Canada, I read the ages of those young men who died - 18, 22, 19, 25, 21 - just a couple years older than I was at the time. That image, that memory, will remain with me forever.
Much later, as I studied history at the University of Waterloo, I went to Archives Canada in Ottawa to research shell shock in the first world war. I read first-hand accounts and medical reports, studied "expert" opinion about the psychology of war fatigue, and mapped out the services provided to those who returned from the front but unable to move beyond their own experiences. I'll always remember the personal impact of that research.
Today, I am watching the Remembrance Day memorial celebrations in Ottawa on CBC News World with my wife and so many other Canadians. And although I have grave misgivings about our role in Afghanistan, I will remember the sacrifices of the men and women who serve both our country and our values. It's the least I can do.