Remembrance Day holds extra special meaning for a mom from Steinbach. 

While Helen Wiens-Laing has always found Remembrance Day to be an important time for reflection and honouring our veterans, now that her son is a private with the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, this day means a bit more than usual. 

She says her heart is filled with pride to see her son dedicated to fulfilling his dream of serving our country. 

Wiens-Laing says this was his goal for most of his life. 

Although she is very proud of her son, Wiens-Laing admits that it is been tough at times to let him pursue his dream. 

“When he left for basic training, yeah, that was really hard,” she says, “because every molecule in my body just wanted to hang on for dear life and not let him get on that plane, right? That mother part...”

As she speaks of her son, his strength and determination, his kindness and calm, a smile spreads across her face and Laing says she wants to be more like him when she grows up.

Wiens-Laing says she is thankful for a very supportive group of family and friends to help her get through the tough moments. 

And she encourages military families who do not have a support network to reach out, adding that there are many resources online and through the many branches of the Royal Canadian Legion. 

Wiens-Laing recalls childhood memories of Remembrance Day when it felt like the world stood still for a few moments every November 11th at 11am, when people stopped what they were doing and solemnly reflected and honoured our war veterans. Two minutes of silence. Motorists would pull over and park their vehicle, people would stop walking or whatever they were doing, and remember the Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. 

There are times when she worries that we have become a society that is so focused on today that we have forgotten the past. 

So, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of this year and every year, Wiens-Laing encourages us to stop what we are doing and to remember the men and women who sacrificed their everything so that we can live in freedom.