Reflections on Remembrance Day by a Canadian-Sikh Soldier

By Lieutenant Manjeet Singh Vinning, The British Columbia Regiment (DCO)

Canadians will gather across the nation to remember the soldiers who paid the ultimate price for their country. We are reminded of the sacrifice of the men and women who fought bravely for peace and justice. We pay tribute to those who have served and who are currently serving on operations today.

Canadians will gather across the nation to remember the soldiers who paid the ultimate price for their country. We are reminded of the sacrifice of the men and women who fought bravely for peace and justice. We pay tribute to those who have served and who are currently serving on operations today.

Sewa has and will always be a large part of a Sikh's daily life. I believe there is no greater honour for a Sikh than to serve their country. I feel fortunate to be able to practice Sikhi while serving in the Canadian Forces at the same time. As Sikhs come from a strong warrior tradition, I feel it is one of my responsibilities to ensure that this tradition carries on. I continually strive to better myself so that our reputation as warriors lives on for generations.

This past weekend, I attended a Remembrance Day ceremony for Pte. Bukkan Singh, a Sikh Canadian war veteran who fought with the Canadian Expedition Force during the First World War. As I stood for a moment of silence, I thought to myself of the sacrifices he made.

As a Sikh in the Canadian Forces, I feel a sense of pride and honour each time I wear the uniform. As a Canadian I am humbled to wear the maple leaf on my shoulder, and as a Sikh, honoured to serve my country I call home. As November 11 approaches, I think back of the great men and women who lost their lives. I remember the over 400,000 Sikhs who fought in WW1 and WW2. As I serve today, I am reminded that I not only represent my country and my fellow soldiers, but all the Sikh Soldiers who came before me. It is their stories, their inspirations that led me to carry on the great Sikh warrior tradition today. It is because of their sacrifice that I am able to serve Canada today.


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