We must remember. If we don’t, the sacrifice of all those Canadian lives will be meaningless. They died for us. They died for Canada.
- Matthew James Baker
Interview with Canadian Veteran:
Matthew James Baker
At his job, Matthew is known for being a Paladin Security Officer at the Prince County Hospital in Summerside, PEI. But in his military life, he is known as MCpl M.J. Baker CD (Ret’d).
We recently spoke with Matthew about his experience in the Canadian Armed Forces, and we were overwhelmed by the amazing advice and wisdom he has to offer. Discover Matthew’s personal story by reading our interview with him below.
This photo is of Matthew in his Mess Dress uniform standing beside the Regimental Crest. This was the first regiment he was a part of, The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin, and Halton Regiment).
Q: What organization are you involved in outside of Paladin?
I am retired from the Canadian Armed Forces, but I was a part of the Army from 1997 to 2015. Currently, I volunteer as a Civilian Instructor with local Army Cadet Corps. I really enjoy working with kids between the ages of 12 and 18. It allows me to pass on my knowledge, as well as teach them skills I learned in the Army. This not only includes military skills, but most importantly personal life skills. Watching these kids grow up and become successful in life is very rewarding!
Q: What skills did you develop while in service, which help you be successful in your role today?
A few key areas, which come to mind are:
Those in the military develop leadership skills, which focus on many different areas. This consists of cultural inclusion, motivating a diverse workforce, handling stressful situations, and strengthening teams to attain goals. All of these skill sets are very useful while working as a Healthcare Security Officer with Paladin Security.
In this photo, Matthew is standing on parade as part of the "Old Guard" (retired members). He is about to be inspected by His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent.
Q: What does Remembrance Day mean to you?
Remembrance Day is incredibly important to me.
For those born during peacetime, war often seems far removed from our daily lives. It becomes just something we saw on TV or learned about in a high school history class. As Canadians, we often take for granted the things we have, our values and beliefs, as well as our freedom to choose how we want to live our lives. Unfortunately, there are many people in this world who do not have these luxuries. Canadians who have gone and will go off to war in distant lands, go because they believe the freedom, values, and beliefs Canadians enjoy, are being threatened.
We must remember. If we don’t, the sacrifice of all those Canadian lives will be meaningless.
They died for us. They died for Canada.
In 2015, Matthew was invited to speak at the Remembrance Day service held at the Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer, France. This photo was taken a few minutes before the service.
All alone, I was standing on Juno beach. It was a beautiful sight. In my mind I tried to imagine what it must have been like on D-Day on June 6, 1944. Just knowing I was standing in the exact location, which saw 961 Canadian casualties (340 killed, 574 wounded, 47 captured), made me have a very different outlook on life. Standing on Juno Beach with nothing but my thoughts was a very humbling experience.
- Matthew James Baker
Q: If you could give advice to someone following in your footsteps today, what would it be?
Military life can be very difficult at times, both for members and their family. But rest assured, the skill sets, values, friends, and camaraderie that you will gain in the military, will last a lifetime! They will help you succeed not only in your military career, but in your civilian career as well.
What do Canadians
do on Remembrance Day?
The Importance of Two-Minute Silence
On Remembrance Day, Canadians and other countries within the Commonwealth, take part in two minutes of silence. This two-minute silence allows us to remember the brave individuals who lost their lives in war. It is also held at 11 AM on November 11th and coincides with the same time the First World War came to an end in 1918.
Let us take these two-minutes of silence to honour, reflect, thank, and remember Canada's fallen Veterans.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
- Robert Laurence Binyon from his poem “For the Fallen”