a cesspool of interwebness

Lest We Forget

Posted by Kyro Sk On 2011-11-11 1 comments

In the day to day tedium, frustration and excitement it is easy to forget that all of it occurs within the domain of a freedom that others paid for with their lives. Here on GnoSchitt we have the grandest of personal luxuries: the right to say and think whatever we want*.

* within the limits of human rights and decency

On Remembrance Day, I find I'm often moved to tears. I'm not crying because I have stories of great personal loss from the Great Wars (or conflicts thereafter). From what I understand one of my grandfathers drove a supply or equipment truck in the second world war. I didn't know him very well and he died before I was old enough to understand what the whole thing meant. I never had a chance to talk to him about it. I'm moved to tears by the realization that I have so much to be utterly thankful for because of the great selfless sacrifice of thousands of people who's names I'll never know.

For the last three or four years I have watched the CBC Rememberance Service from Ottawa. The first time I watched that service I was surprised at the age of the remaining veterans. Has it been that long? During the service they spoke of the "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier".

So the story goes, when this new memorial was unveiled in 2000, the crowd in attendance spontaneously began leaving their poppies behind on the tomb as they left the service that cold November morning. This has become a bona fide tradition now with thousand upon thousands of poppies left on the memorial site as the crowds in attendance pay their respects to the men and women of those wars. As I've gotten older, I've come to understand what their motivations might be. Indeed in many ways I think I feel the same. I feel gloriously Canadian: deep sadness that we have need to go to war mixed with thankfulness that we have fought so valiantly.

This had led me to add a few important things to my personal bucket list, I genuinely hope I'm able to plan the following two excursions before it's been too long:

A Trip to Vimy Ridge
Attendance at the Ottawa Remembrance Service with an option to be standing here in the Canadian War Museum at 11am if we cannot get onto the grounds for the outdoor service.

I would gladly plan either of these events with others if they feel similarly inclined.

           Lest we forget

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