Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Time to Remember

Skip and I went to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair today. I'll write more about the fair in tomorrow's post. I didn't make it to a cenotaph or get to see the ceremony on TV from Parliament Hill as I had originally planned. However, we arrived at the fair just as the Remembrance Day service was starting in the western main concourse.

Everything stopped when "The Last Post" began. Then there were 2 minutes of silence followed by a reading of a poem. "Reveille" then sounded followed by "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes (major lump-in-throat at that point) followed by the singing of O! Canada in both our official languages. 30 years of morning announcements with the playing of O! Canada has cemented both English and French versions in my brain and I sang right along with more and more people around me joining in. My eyes welled up with tears. I'm not sure I can completely articulate why other than I'm so glad to be a Canadian, to live in a country where I can get medical treatment and not have to worry about the financial impact it might have on my family, where I am free to express any personal or political opinions whether they are popularly held or not, etc. etc.  I also think of all the moms and dads whose sons and daughters have lost their lives in defense of our country or in alliance with other countries during both war and peacekeeping forays.

Last year, I wrote quite a lot about what Remembrance Day means to me now as a middle-aged, retired person. I'm reflecting on it again today.

It doesn't matter where you are or what you are doing at 11am on November 11th. There's always time to remember.

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