Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Day to Remember

Vimy Memorial

At sunrise this morning the last of 68,000 names of the dead from World War One was projected on a building here in Canada and on Canada House in London, Great Britain. This project was the brain child of actor R.H Thompson and others who wanted to honour the 90th anniversary of the end of WWI. It was a brilliant idea and no doubt deeply meaningful to the family members of the fallen. I believe there is only one Canadian WWI veteran left alive, so it is important that we remember in other ways.

St. Paul's has only three veterans left from WWII that I know of, and all of them are in their eighties. All three have health challenges and while we want them to remain with us for a while, time marches on.

It is always important to honour and cherish the sacrifices of others for a greater cause. I find it quite emotional to see our aging veterans at the various events which take place at this time of the year. And of course there are Canadian military personnel is dusty Afghanistan, risking their lives from day to day for the good of others.
Jesus said that greater love has no one than to lay done one's life for a friend. Today we can find our way to a cenotaph, or watch on television or simply pause for a minute of silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/534485
What impact does this day have on you?


Nancy said...

I too find today to be an emotional day. Although I am unable to attend a service at a cenotaph, I will be attending a service here at school. Although I miss having the day off and attending the cenotaph, I feel it is much more important for us to have these services in school as the children of today need to know why it is they have the peace they have. Although they are far too young to have been affected by family in either of the world wars, they are aware of the war in Afganistan and are aware of the loss many families have experienced.

David Mundy said...

Thanks for mentioning the school services Nancy. I have been at such services in an official capacity and I have been struck by the attentiveness (for the most part) of students. It is quite touching.

Laurie said...

Remembrance Day always has an impact on me. My dad was in the navy in WW2.I always went to the services with him. He died in 2000.
I now go to the services without him but feel that he is with me. The Legion puts a Canadian flag on every veteran's grave on Remembrance Day. I find that very touching. My son posted his journal today in dedication to his Grandfather. It brought tears to my eyes.

Deborah Laforet said...

My father was in the Navy, and although, he was not in a war, he died in the service, and I always think of him on this day.

Today is Veteran's Day in the states, and they also put a flag on every veteran's grave. My dad was buried in Michigan, and it is the one day during the year when I wish I could visit.

Laura said...

Manitoba maintained Remembrance Day as a full provincial holiday. By the time we left, 4 years ago, the stores were permitted to open at 1pm (I believe).Prior to that everything remained closed all day. Although the kids were little, we had them sit with us and watch the service from Ottawa. I found Remembrance Day grew in meaning again for me during our time in that province.Today I opted out of the school assemblies and took the kids to the cenitaph. It seems for actually seeing the aging veterans, wrapped in blankets, sitting solomnly as the names are read makes history real. It seems to me Remembrance Day should be a statutory holiday. No commerce, no shopping just a pause of profound thanks. I do see Nancy's reality that many families would use the day off for other pursuits, and new generations would never appreciate the price of their peace.

David Mundy said...

I appreciate hearing what memories and emotions are evoked by this day, whether it is Remembrance or Veterans Day in your tradition. It seems fitting that emotions are stirred by what we see and hear. Both my father and father-in-law were veterans and I think of them both on November 11th.

Remembrance Day is a holiday in Nova Scotia as well, a province with a strong military tradition, particularly the navy. Standing in Point Pleasant Park looking out to sea surrounded by veterans is an important memory of our time in Halifax.