November 2013 Editor's Fix

Every November 11, and the weeks leading up to it, individuals across Canada and other Commonwealth countries observe a memorial day to remember those who lost their lives in the line of duty. A tradition that begun after World War I, it resonates with us all as we adorn our red poppies and pay our silent respects.

As we approached this edition, we thought about the importance of remembering. We often hear that we should live in the present and not be too concerned about the past or future, but there are definitely times it pays to remember.

I have had the opportunity of growing up in the same town as my Nana, and to now live just a few blocks away from her as I raise a family. Her and I have always had strong ties. When I was away at university, I wrote to her sharing all that I was experiencing. While she was visiting her family in Italy, I practiced my Italian by writing her letters. Yes, she corrected me. For so long, it was about me; Nana was a great listener. Then one weekend, as I was driving Nana to Calgary, she started talking. We passed Sparwood and the Michel Hotel and she began sharing with me her journey to Fernie from Italy. The weeks spent on a boat with her three young chidlren, crossing the Atlantic. Arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia and boarding a train. Travelling across Canada, with only “red soup and soft bread” to eat, and wiping the train seats with her daughter’s clothes as they were covered with soot. And finally meeting her husband, whom she hadn’t seen in over three years, and driving from the bustling civilization of the city only to arrive in a small, coal-covered mountain town.

I love this story (especially told dramatically and with a thick Italian accent) and look forward to sharing it with my daughter, helping her to realize as she looks around this town that it was once so different than it is now. That people came from all over the world and much harder times to start in Fernie, and that they continue to come from all over the world today for different reasons.

Yes, I agree that it’s important to live in the moment. You never know what might happen tomorrow. But it’s equaly important to remember where you came from and why we have the privileges bestowed upon us today. Lest we forget.