Monday, November 06, 2006

In Remembrance

This coming Saturday is Remembrance Day, and it's something I've been thinking a lot about in the last few weeks.

Every year for as long as I can remember, I've gone to a Remembrance Day service. I'm an airforce brat, so it was a really big deal for us. I don't think I've ever actually missed one, except for the year I was 9 or so and sick, and I was really upset that Mom wouldn't let me go. I've read so much about the wars, and how much pain and suffering they caused, and it's really made an impact on me - I can't imagine living through that.

I really feel that taking a couple hours out of a day, once a year, to pay tribute to the sacrifices that so many people made so that we could live in our nice free country, is really a small thing to do. But it seems to me that not a lot of people nowadays feel like that. I could be wrong, so I'd really like to hear some reader input on this one.

I have noticed an increase in the number of people at the service since 9/11, but what really just makes me HOPPING mad is the companies that don't close down on Remembrance Day, and instead give people an extra day off at Christmas. HELLO! That totally defeats the purpose! It's not about having a day off, it's about REMEMBERING. It makes me really cross.

A Remembrance Day service is pretty simple, but so moving, and somehow so Canadian to me. The trumpet playing the Last Post, the flags snapping in the wind, the poppies, the Scouts, cadets and vets on parade, the prayers and the singing, the time of silence, the wreath-laying - it's all so important to me, I can't even explain it. So many people have died in war, and with them the dreams of their families for their lives. So much pain and heartbreak!

Anyway, on Saturday we'll be at the Museum of the Regiments on Crowchild Trail at about 10 or 10:15. The service starts at 10:40, and lasts about an hour. It would be great if you could come! But dress warm - it's Canadian winter, eh!

This is the page from the Book of Remembrance in Ottawa that shows my great-uncle, Thomas Bennetts, who died in 1944.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Michelle... good post! I think you're right though... sadly. Remembrance day is becoming less and less significant in Canada. I think the reason is that many have not lived long enough (myself included!) to fully understand the horror of armed conflict and the devastation that a soldier's sacrifice brings on loved ones when he/she falls in battle. We would do well to "never forget", but it seems that the passing of time somehow forces forgetfulness...
- Mike