I come from the “peace and love” generation, which had a saying: “What if there was a war and nobody came?”
God, wouldn’t that be nice?
Sadly, war doesn’t work that way. Usually it starts with some nation’s leader bullying another nation’s leader, or as the trend seems to be today, with some terrorist group bullying nations and picking on their defenceless civilians. Many of us have been taught to turn the other cheek when confronted by bullies, but sometimes we just can’t do that because the bullies will take advantage of us, and run roughshod over everyone. Imagine if our mothers and fathers and uncles and aunts and grandfathers and grandmothers had not stood up to the abomination that was the Nazi regime during the Second World War. We flower children of the love generation wouldn’t have had the options we had; our children might never have been born. The world would be a vastly different and cruel place right now.
It seems almost a cliché to say that we owe so much to the members of our armed forces. We can’t really repay them, except to say thank you, and to honour them by wearing poppies and observing Remembrance Day and Veterans’ Day ceremonies. And crying . . . I always cry during the Remembrance Day ceremonies.
Many of the photos I’ve added to my Remembrance Day post this year were snapped by me during a visit to the community of Manotick, Ontario, last summer. I was touched to see a cenotaph set up beside the historic Watson’s Mill on the Rideau River. Part of the memorial site, called Veterans’ Way, features a brick pathway inscribed with the names of Manotick residents who served this great country called Canada, and who served this great planet called Earth in the hopes of making it a peaceful, loving place for its inhabitants.
We must never forget those who have fallen so that we could be free. We must never forget any of the members of our armed forces, past and present. Yes, we do owe them so much.
Pray for them, and pray for peace.
Thank you . . .
To my readers: please add your Remembrance Day thoughts in the comments section here.
In Flanders Fields
By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae
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
Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium