Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remembrance Day

Today, November 11th is Remembrance Day. In Canada, we remember and pay tribute to the armed forces members who have died in the line of duty. Most people wear a symbolic red poppy distributed by the Canadian Legion. In schools, children recite the poem, "In Flanders Fields", written by Canadian soldier John McCrae.

When I was young, we had the day off school. I would often go to downtown Toronto with my friends. At the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, everything stood still. Even as children, we knew that nothing moved when the stores signalled that it was time, eleven o'clock. We were all respectful.

Remembrance Day is now recognized and taught through classroom activities which culminate in an assembly. During a time when lives are hectic if not chaotic and everyone rushes around frantically, children still learn. This is a time of reverence. This is a time of pondering and reflection. This is a time to show appreciation for our good fortune and our freedom.

No matter what your politics, whether or not you agree that the wars were necessary, it's time to put all that aside. It's time to honour honour those who died and those who live on.




                                                           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, May 1915

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