November 11th in Canada is Remembrance Day. A statutory holiday set aside to remember those who have served in World Wars I & II, the Korean War, The Gulf War and those currently in active duty in Afghanistan. A day to be thankful, grateful and remember those who choose to defend me and my fellow Canadians. Our Canadian military.
We are fortunate enough to live in an area where my daughter's school takes Remembrance Day very seriously. They had an hour-long service with the two-minute moment of silence at 11:00 am, video presentations, poems that the students had written, laying of wreathes from each homeroom in the school, Taps and, of course, the recitation of "In Flanders Fields". As always, I sat in the back and sniffled, in awe of those who would choose to serve to protect someone like me, someone they don't even know.
This year is even harder for Canadians since it the first year in a long-time that our military is serving in active, war duty and not peace-keeping duty.
On Saturday, November 11th, we went to our neighbouring university for the official Remembrance Day ceremony. The service is getting longer and longer as there are more and more wreathes laid for those "in memory of" and the parade of veterans is getting shorter and shorter as more veterans pass on each year. What will Remembrance Day be like when all the veterans are gone or will there always be veterans since there will always be war somewhere in the world? That is the question.
Our newishly-elected federal government has a different foreign policy than the governments before it and I don't think it is truly reflective of what Canadians want. However, our troops are in active duty and we must support and pray for them and the people they are trying to help. And all those men and women, some of them barely into adulthood, who had such a spirit of honor and adventure that they would risk their lives for the good. Talk about "shock and in awe!"
"In Flanders Fields the poppies blow, between the crosses row on row..."