John was in England during the war and walked into a pub called “The Plough” where he was served by a woman named Olive, the daughter of the pub owner. He told her she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met, and she told him not to bother her because he was Canadian and she had no use for Canadian men.

He must have been very convincing since John and Olive were my grandparents. As I look at their wedding picture, I think about how difficult that time would have been—not only because of the fear and anxiety that went with the war, but because of the bravery it took for my grandmother to move away from her home country and start a new life with her husband.

Her courageous choice is the reason I have my wonderful life here in Canada.

I have heard countless stories about coming to Canada from family members, friends, audience members and passengers on the airplane. I always add to their story by saying, “Aren’t we so so blessed to live in Canada?” They always say how grateful they are to have made their own courageous choice to come here.

Who made a choice for you? Let’s never forget them.

In remembrance,