Remembrance Day is, I believe, the most important holiday we have. This is the one day we set aside each year to remember all of the brave men and women who fought to protect our Rights and Freedoms.
That includes both those veterans who returned home safely after serving and those who came home wounded and broken; those who now rest in graves in foreign lands after paying the ultimate price in defence of our Rights and Freedoms, and those who rest peacefully here at home.
More veterans pass away every year, and this year is no different. This year that sad thought hits a little closer to home for me, as a good friend and veteran of the Korean War died earlier this year.
Richard (Dick) M. Herring passed away on April 15, 2012, just a few days shy of his 81st birthday.
Dick was, like all veterans, a very interesting guy. He’d worked a lot of different jobs through his life, including forester, logger, prospector and consultant. He was passionate and knowledgeable about both military history and politics.
Once retired, politics became the primary focus of his life, and he worked tirelessly within his own constituency association to further the cause of Liberty.
Dick also loved food, and we spent many a lunch at one of his favourite eateries where he would regale me with stories of his Korean War exploits, his favourite guns and why he loved them, and his thoughts on politics.
What impressed me most about Dick, however, wasn’t any of that. It was the fact that he just never complained.
Even when his health was an issue, sure, he’d discuss what was going on, but there was never any feeling of self-pity. He always looked for a solution to the problems he faced, whether they be personal or not.
That didn’t matter. Canada was his home and he was devoted to making it a better place than it was when he arrived.
I respected and admired Dick Herring for many reasons, but first and foremost because of his unwavering dedication to serving others.
Sure, Dick liked good food and good company, but when push came to shove, his passion was doing whatever he could to make Canada a better nation.
While I’m very sad he’s gone, I’m also very grateful I had the chance to know him. This Sunday at 11am it is Dick Herring who I will be remembering.