REMEMBRANCE DAY

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

-John McCrae

 

Today, we pause and remember those who fought for us, our way of life and (in many, many cases) gave their lives for this country. We also take this opportunity to thank today’s men and women in uniform, who populate some of the most dangerous places on earth in order to keep the peace.

We remember you and your selfless efforts today. God bless you and your family.

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12 Responses to "REMEMBRANCE DAY"

  1. kosiork says:

    Bless all of them. Today is always a good time to delve into some old books and read stories on the men and women who have served in Canada’s army, navy and air force. Some fascinating, heartwarming and heartbreaking stories out there, if you take the time to look.

  2. kosiork says:

    Gregg Drinnan has a good one up about Hick Abbott, sportsman and WW1 soldier.

    http://gdrinnan.blogspot.com/

  3. oliveoilers says:

    They gave their tomorrow so we could have our today.
    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.

    As a veteran, thank you Alan. Kinda puts things in perspective.

  4. Lowetide says:

    I always think of my Dad on Remembrance day, and my Grandpa. My Dad lost a lot of his hearing in the War, he told me that he just woke up one day and couldn’t hear like before and started reading lips to help it out. Jesus, those guys lost a lot–even the ones who made it out alive. Now he’s 28 or 29 at the time, spent the rest of his life trying to hear normal conversation.

    My Mom used to yell at him “IRA, put on your hearing aid” but the hearing aid pissed him off because the batteries were useless (my Dad used to go into Lloydminster and tell the hearing aid man his batteries weren’t worth putting on the shelves) as far as he was concerned.

    I think of my Grandpa because he didn’t go to war, he had a dairy farm near Neilburg and helped out that way. But it always, always bothered him you know, always, that he didn’t help the effort by going over.

    Sometimes on Saturday night’s he would have a few too many and he’d get upset about it, I remember my Dad saying he’d helped with the effort by staying on the farm and that’s what they needed from him.

    But he lived with that from 1939 until he died. I don’t think our generation has as many brave people as that one.

  5. Clarkenstein says:

    I lost my Dad this past June. While doing his Eulogy I described his days on a mine sweeper in WWII. It was harrowing to say the least. They swept the North Atlantic and were shot at by planes, enemy subs and ships. He never really wanted to talk about it. When I was young I couldn’t understand why. All he would say was that is was something that no young person should ever have to endure. Thanks for all you did Dad!

  6. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    My gramps, Bill, never owned a car. That always seemed weird to me. But he lived in the same house in James Bay for over fifty years (moved in right before the war, left only once he needed more hands-on care in his early 90s, which coincided with the late 1990s as it happens). He walked everywhere. A lot of folks who live in Victoria are like that. I’ve never owned a car either. I try to walk everywhere and here in Toronto the subway is so convenient.

    As near as I can tell, the only time Bill ever drove a car was in the War. Some kind of Jeep I imagine. That’s about all I got out of him about the War and he only told me that because I used to ask “where’s your car, grampa?” you know, because all adults have cars to a kid. My dad tells me he didn’t get much more out of him about the War.

    I was lucky enough to eat dinner at his James Bay house every second Sunday or so. It was always a big affair: roast beef, potatoes, carrots, etc. and lots and lots of Pie. Liz (grandma) was a hell of pie maker. Before dinner, Bill would wrestle with me and my brother as a kind of short “hello” before returning his attention to the TV. 3/4 of the way through dinner Bill would invariably get up (without excusing himself… pity be the child in my family that tried that one!), take out his snuff box and return to the TV to watch 60 minutes (Andy Rooney… ha!). How he managed this exception from the rules of decorum never ceased to confound me.

    After the rest of us were excused, me and my brother joined Bill and tried to be entertained by the most entertaining thing in the world (TV) set to the least entertaining thing in the world (60 Minutes). Liz, mom and dad did the dishes and set the table for cards. FINALLY, Bill got up again to join them for cards and left the TV in our hands… Sunday night Disney was calling.

    When I was a teenager, I had a mohawk for about 3 years, colored variously. Where most grandparents (I imagine) would recoil, Bill and Liz barely registered. They were just happy to be around their grandkids. I have a picture of myself (15, purple mohawk, zits, terrible dresser) peeling potatoes over the sink with Bill, both of us laughing about God knows what. I am very fond of it.

    He lived to be 94, was a bit of card after Liz died (he asked a few of his nurses and housecleaners to marry him) and couldn’t hold a secret to save his life (we often got christmas presents in June… he was too excited to wait).

  7. RexLibris says:

    McCrae really did say it best. I had relatives fight in both World Wars, they all made it back home. What I would give for an afternoon to talk and hear some of their stories.

    This time every year I like to delve back into some readings I’ve found from World War I, I find it helps to put everything into perspective and serves to put me in an appropriate frame of mind for the imminent holiday season, so as not to lose focus on the things that really matter.

    I’ve a Remembrance Day article up on FN as well, for anyone interested.

  8. theres oil in virginia says:

    Lowetide:
    I always think of my Dad on Remembrance day, and my Grandpa. My Dad lost a lot of his hearing in the War, he told me that he just woke up one day and couldn’t hear like before and started reading lips to help it out. Jesus, those guys lost a lot–even the ones who made it out alive. Now he’s 28 or 29 at the time, spent the rest of his life trying to hear normal conversation.

    My Mom used to yell at him “IRA, put on your hearing aid” but the hearing aid pissed him off because the batteries were useless (my Dad used to go into Lloydminster and tell the hearing aid man his batteries weren’t worth putting on the shelves) as far as he was concerned.

    I think of my Grandpa because he didn’t go to war, he had a dairy farm near Neilburg and helped out that way. But it always, always bothered him you know, always, that he didn’t help the effort by going over.

    Sometimes on Saturday night’s he would have a few too many and he’d get upset about it, I remember my Dad saying he’d helped with the effort by staying on the farm and that’s what they needed from him.

    But he lived with that from 1939 until he died. I don’t think our generation has as many brave people as that one.

    Well, that’s a story that demonstrates that war negatively affects even the lives of those not directly involved. Can you pass that message along to the white house? (The current one along with the last several of our presidents don’t seem to get it.) Also the churches could use that message.

    Mark Twain’s The War Prayer:
    http://warprayer.org/

    Thanks for sharing these stories about your family. I enjoy reading them.

  9. jake70 says:

    A healthcare worker, when in a patient;s room and discovering he/she is a veteran, I get my questionning/assessment done for my work…. and then, if I detect a willingness, start to discuss their war experiences with them as I never had any close relatives with that experience. The stories are fascinating. I have found myself spending sometimes up to an hour or more talking to them over the years (sorry taxpayers. :) ) In my experience they have all opened up and shared a lot. One funny (his way of telling it, not the content obviously) story was a veteran recounting his scheduled deployment in 1945 for a planned ground assault in Japan. His group flew to Vancouver to meet up with a group of Americans. He said ” jesus , we never got to go, they dropped the goddamn bomb on Hiroshima a few days after we got there” …annoyed he couldn’t go. Many thanks to those who gave up life/quality of life to afford following generations some basic freedoms.

  10. FastOil says:

    Both Grandfathers were overseas, one came home with a bride. It’s hard to imagine what they went through, mine didn’t speak about it much either, and not a lot when asked. That generation went through a lot of hardship. To think the generation before might have had two world wars and a depression.

    You are remembered.

  11. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide,

    I had a family member who enlisted in the Canadian Forces and was stationed with an artillery regiment. His group was never deployed in Europe but he spent the entire war training and preparing. He lost virtually all of his hearing as well due to the artillery drills. Never said a word about the war or the friends he lost.

    His father was born in Germany and spent the entire war in a Kananaskis internment camp.

    While the father was held under armed guard as a potential enemy of the state, his son willingly risked his life to protect said state.

    I know this isn’t a unique story, but it, and hundreds of others like it, are what make this day special to me. It is remembrance of everyone who died and suffered, on both sides, on account of animosity, belligerence and our drive to self-annihilation.

  12. Bruce McCurdy says:

    My dad enlisted in RCAF on his 18th birthday, took his training in Toronto, & sailed for Europe 2 weeks after he married my Mum at 19. He had an inner ear issue so couldn’t fly so worked in ground support as an armourer. His 21st birthday — the day he was finally old enough to vote, and drink — his squadron crossed a bridge from Holland to Germany.

    He spoke rarely of the War through all my formative years, other than always marking occasions like D-Day and VE-Day and Remembrance Day, that was it. But after my folks went to Holland with a large number of other Canadian troops to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their Liberation Day, only then did Dad start to open up about his experiences. He even wrote a personal memoir with the help of my mother, who lived through the same years on the other side of the ocean and pitched in in the workforce like so many women did to keep things afloat back home.

    My folks are gone now, Dad in ’07 and Mum last year. I think of them both today, remember them fondly for lots of reasons, but especially remember their sacrifice during troubled times.

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