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.
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.