Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day 2008

November 11th: a day of remembering and of thanks for all those who fought for us and who continue to do their duty, be it fighting a war or keeping the peace. It's called Remembrance Day here in Canada. Regardless of the name, the sentiment is the same.

The years are passing and our veterans are dying. It won't be long before there are no veterans left from World War II, and the ones who fought in Korea are aging too. In Canada, we don't have the Vietnam vets, but in the United States, their memories aren't as heroic, it seems.

The photo is the poppy I wore on my coat this month. The symbol of the poppy is worn in Canada to remember those who fought in past wars and who are on peacekeeping missions now.

My parents were in the Netherlands during WWII although they rarely talk about their experiences. What does come through though, is their enduring gratitude to the Canadian soldiers who liberated them. We hear so often of America's role in the wars that many don't know about the strong presence of the Canadians, and the large number of Canadian lives that were lost.

As the memories of the wars fade, some people work to keep them alive. We need to remember so we don't make the same mistakes again. But keeping memories alive can be a difficult road. A Canadian singer, Terry Kelly, has used his talent with a song he wrote in response to an incident he saw in 1999, when he was in a grocery store. The employees and customers were observing 2 minutes of silence at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month. All - that is - except for one man who was there with his young daughter.

His song, A Pittance of Time, was written for us to remember the past. I encourage you to click on the link and listen and watch.

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