Remembering What Is Important on Remembrance Day

Remembering is painful, it’s difficult, but it can be inspiring and it can give wisdom.”  ― Shannon L. Alder

It has been 99 years since the official end of the World War I.  On November 11, 1918, the world watched as the call for peace echoed throughout Europe where Canadian troops valiantly supported the Allied forces.  The poppy symbolizes remembrance and is worn on Nov. 11 in honor of a poem written by John McCare, a Canadian doctor in the military.  The poem is titled “In Flanders Fields” and speaks of the poppies that grew in the Flemish graveyards where soldiers were buried.

As many of you are aware, Myles and I love real estate. We enjoy helping buyers, sellers and investors with buying their first home, downsizing, selling a rental property, land redevelopment, or simply providing advice to clients about the real estate process in general. If truth be told, I spend most of my time either working in real estate, reading publications about real estate or studying real estate. I truly love how “tangible” real estate is as an investment – especially when you can live in it, touch it, and enjoy it (unlike stocks and bonds). However, on Saturday, November 11th, I would ask that Realtors not hold open houses, and that for the entire hour of 11am on the 11th month of the 11th day of 2017, that we refrain from discussing real estate at all and instead, maintain a 2 minute period of silence to commemorate the lives of those Canadians who have given their lives.

It is always a proud moment to be a Canadian in November, especially when you see a young child wearing a poppy and they can tell you the symbolism of it and how poppies once grew in Flanders where countless lives were lost there during WWI. With all of the violence and uprisings taking place throughout the world today, it certainly seems that having 2 minutes of silence to show gratitude for our country is a small act that we can each do.

We can be thankful for the opportunity to own real estate. As I have mentioned in previous newsletters, up until 2011, Cubans were not allowed to own real estate and the government owned all of the land. We can be thankful that our laws protect us from ethnic discrimination as thousands of people have lost their homes simply because they were of an ethnicity that their government did not find favor with. We can be thankful that we can live in our home with a sense of safety – we do not have to worry about a militant group breaking down our doors in the middle of the night. We can be thankful for the opportunity to speak out about political issues and candidates we support (or in some cases, disagree with) about the opportunity to vote.

I will proudly wear my poppy as a symbol of my love for Canada, and as a symbol for the gratitude I have for all of the men and women that have died in an effort to make Canada the best country in the world.  In closing, I thought that I would share with you the “In Flanders Fields” poem that so many of us grew up reciting each Remembrance Day.

“In Flanders Fields”

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

With Gratitude,
Brian & Myles McCullough

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