Remembrance Day


Two uncles.

Both saw action.

Both on different fronts.

One shipped out to Europe and fought.  He talked only occasionally about the things he saw and did to survive.  He was never the same.  He was fun and jovial and a terrific uncle.  But there were moments of quiet sadness his entire life.  I now understand why.  I wish I could tell him one more time that I am proud of him.

The other was sent to a training base not far from his farm home.  He was used as a guinea pig as our government tested chemicals on their own soldiers.  Needless to say, the wounds, scars and medical problems were many and plagued him through his entire life.  The emotional pain was worse.  He was in his 80’s before the government saw fit to admit what they did and honor him with a tribute fitting a hero.  He is now 93 and I spoke with him last night.  The pain is still there.

Sadly, they are among the millions and millions of fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, uncles, aunts and friends that fought, died, sustained injuries both physical and emotional whose sacrifices today are almost forgotten.

Except for one day.  November 11.

What a sad comment on society.

Why we need to go to war is almost impossible to understand.

But why many in society don’t even bother to spend a few minutes today remembering that the canvas of their freedom was painted in blood is beyond comprehension.

Where I live, the battle rages with local businesses fighting a city bylaw that requires them to remain closed until 12:30 on Remembrance Day.  They want it to be business as usual at the shopping malls.  They see no reason to stop the flow of cash and customers for the day.

No reason.

Yet it is of valour and pain and selflessness that people wander the aisles of their stores.

Shame on all of us.

Today, I will attend a Remembrance Day service at a local middle school.  I will stand with my hand over my heart and thank both my uncles for their heroism.

I hope you do the same.

It truly is just a Pittance Of Time.

3 thoughts on “Remembrance Day

  1. I am a national defense employee, military spouse and extended family member of military veterans. I’ve narrowly escaped becoming a military widow and know first-hand the terror that situation brings. I grieve with the families of those who have lost loved ones in wars and military opertions and who deal with the broken minds and bodies of those who return. Even those who return from conflict pay a large price, as we read and hear in the media. It is our duty to support those who support us and support / protect those they do not even know. This is a calling many of us may not have the courage to undertake.

    I grew up in Nova Scotia, where businesses close on November 11 to honor those who serve and served, both living and dead. It was not considered to be either irrelevant or an inconvenience, but the duty of society at large to honor the duty of military members. What a small price to pay for those who have paid such a large price to preserve and promote freedom. When I moved to Ontario I was astonished to learn that every province except Ontario and Quebec honor their heroes on Remembrance Day by making this day a provincial holiday and closing businesses and government offices.

    The laziness and self-centredness of the masses who want everything, including their way of life at no cost or inconvenience to them, never ceases to amaze me. Nothing in life is free, including freedom.

  2. I had the pleasure against many odds of getting my parents to the DDay beaches for the 50th anniversary. To see those real giants especially from the parachute brigades around St Mere Eglise was truly awesome. White hair under their BB caps but upright 6′ heroes. Brings tears thinking about the US cemetery with its 1000’s crosses right down to the sea.

    We must never forget.

  3. Absolutely beautiful tribute, thankyou for sharing this. I will attend a ceremony today in Remembrance Of Those who gave their lives so I can live freely. God Bless.

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