On a cold day like this, in a place far away,

A young Canadian walks slowly, and quietly, through a forest, with an assault rifle – to keep the enemy at bay.

That enemy would take the Canadians life – given the chance….would mow them down – and not think twice, before doing a dance.

For the enemy wants chaos. A world where order – and peace – aren’t the norm. Where girls can’t go to school, in fact – a place where many wish girls weren’t even born. Yes, this enemy seeks a world where chaos and murder take form.

But this rhyme is not about an enemy far away. It’s about that Canadian who offers up her life to give us another day.

As she walks through the forest, and the snow hits her nose…..she’s cold, tired and hungry. She wishes for a bowl of that hot soup – the one made by her favourite aunt, Aunt Rose.

You know the aunt named after the City of Roses – where this soldier is from – the place where they prefer Canadian Club over rum.

But it’s not the thought of soup that keeps her on track. It’s all those Canadians at home who she knows, have her back?

The anonymous kids who send her kind notes – who help lift her spirits with what they wrote – you know, the ones whose parents vote?

It’s the people who made their way to this place. To Canada – the greatest nation to call home. Whether they came from Krakow, Antwerp, Frankfurt, New Delhi or Rome.

Families of veterans, kind neighbours and others, who take the time to check-in with her father and mother.

And yes, that mother – her loving mother – she’s not slept the same at night – not knowing exactly where her daughter is – what she’s going through – since she took-up the fight.

That mother has aged 10 years in just one. Time she won’t get back until this war is done.

And that Canadian soldier – who fights on the front – who marches through places unknown and strange. Seeks nothing from anyone – not fortune or fame.

She’s there to ensure freedom is enduring and strong. Whether she need march through, Germany, Afghanistan, Hanoi or Hong Kong.

Korea, or Poland, Russia or Iraq. This girl, this girl has Canada’s back.

And today we come here together, to stand in the snow. Like the soldiers who marched one by one, and like them, many of us lined in rows.

We all stand together hoping for the end of war. But by golly, we thank those that gave us the day before.

We thank those who serve, those that have the nerve – those who show their verve.

And for the young ones among us – let us all take the time. Let us all realize that life can change on a dime.

Like that young Canadian soldier – the one who marches far away – with the steely gun in her hands, my friends, she did not live to see another day.

Her mother is here among us, and her father is too. And when they got the sad news, they looked at me and said, “will you honour her Mayor Drew?”

And one of the most respected of my acts is to honour our veterans on your behalf.

To stand here and say thank you to those who are with us today – and to those fighting in foreign lands we come together and pray.

And to that Canadian soldier – that spirit in the sky – and to all who greet her there – we come together to cry.

A small tear, that honors your sacrifice – your service, and your life. We rally around your young son and your husband – for you were a wife.

We pledge to take care of them in every single way. To honour your memory dear veteran now and everyday – the ‘Windsor way’.

And as our lives carry on – one day after another, please remember our fathers, friends, neighbours, brothers, and this mother.

For they are all deserving of our gratitude, whether here or in heaven. Let us remember them everyday, especially on 11-11-11.

We will remember them.

– Mayor Drew Dilkens