The first, belonged to my Grandmother. It was given in recognition of her work as an "Emergency Reservist" during World War I. This was in reference to the creation of the Women's Emergency Corps which was established in order to place women into the crucial war effort jobs in Canada so as to allow more men to transfer overseas to the fields of Flanders.
The second - "Women's War Work" belonged to my mother whose war effort involved working at a General Motors plant which had been converted from car assembly lines to the production of personnel carriers and tanks for use in the Second World War in Europe.
Two small pins which tell a very large story. War is not just won on the battlefield. To be successful in a national conflict, a country has to mobilize everyone. There is no room for selfishness, no room for passing the buck to someone else, no room for deciding that your inconvenience is more important than someone else's life.
This year, Remembrance Day takes on a very different tone. For my generation and younger, it has always been a time to reflect and remember the sacrifice of others. But this year is different. This year it is us who are being called upon to sacrifice in order to save the lives of our friends, neighbours, family and even passersby on the street. COVID has brought an expected new level of social responsibility to our day to day life. We have done a great job of praising, in the abstract, the selfless actions of our ancestors. It is now our time to step up and do our part.
Wear a mask in public, practice physical distancing, avoid crowds, don't travel - in short, take a little personal responsibility for fighting an international crisis.
The soldiers in this battle are our health care professionals, research scientists, essential workers in transportation, food distribution and sales, civic employees, teachers, and childcare workers. And we are the citizen "army" that has to have their backs.
Please stay safe over the coming weeks. Tomorrow is Remembrance Day and a perfect time to recommit to winning our battle against this global pandemic. Our forebears would expect nothing less.
Lest we forget.