We will remember them – 2011

“Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, 
We will remember them. Lest we forget.”
-Laurence Binyon

Last year, I wrote a blog post on Remembrance day. It’s not really anything special but it’s one that I am most proud of. Here is a little excerpt from last year’s post:

‘When I was little, we didn’t have a day off for Remembrance Day. We went to school, and waited for 10am. We all lined up, rosy cheeks and runny noses, and walked all the way from our tiny elementary school to the cenotaph. We stood outside, usually in knee-deep snow, and watched as soldiers, cadets, scouts, and guides marched by. We tried to keep our teeth from chattering too loudly during the 2 minutes of silence, and we chatted with relief through the Reveille. We mumbled along to God Save the Queen (because we didn’t actually know the words) and rushed to get some hot chocolate and head back to school. For 7 years this was my Remembrance Day routine.

Then I moved to New Brunswick, and coincidence or not, there was no school on Remembrance Day. The first year I stayed home I think it was a ‘clean the house day’ with my Mom – but we still paused when the trumpet sounded through the radio for our 2 minutes of silence. Again, I think I chatted through the Reveille. I felt a little bad, when my Dad came home from the parade, handsome in his uniform, and wondered if it was disrespectful not to attend the ceremony..?

This pattern continued, and I stayed home and listened to the ceremony that aired on the radio. After that I would usually put the Ottawa ceremony on TV. I was sure that someone would find out about my at-home remembering and accuse me of being disrespectful. I decided that staying home and listening to the radio was good for me and that it didn’t matter what others thought. I like being alone to think about those who serve, and remember them…

…When I have my own children, I know what I’ll do. Wherever we’re living, I’ll bundle them up – rosy cheeks and runny noses – and we’ll walk to the cenotaph where their father will be standing, at attention, for them. We will stand there, probably in knee-deep snow with teary eyes. We’ll try to keep our teeth from chattering through the 2 minutes of silence, and they’ll probably chat through the Reveille. They’ll jump when shots are fired, at one minute intervals, and I might let a giggle or two out. I’ll smile when they run over for hot chocolate and want to hurry back home. We’ll do this, until they know what it’s about. Until they are thankful for everything, including the freedom, that they have.

Then, we’ll turn on the radio.’

So this year, I’m sitting here at home – after turning down my Dad’s offer to go to the cenotaph with him – by myself. Sitting here, listening to the radio and giving my thoughts and my heart to past, present, and future soldiers. The radio broadcast was a little different this year. Normally they broadcast the local ceremony live, but instead played a prerecorded version. Same national anthem. Same Last Post. Same silence. Then they played my worst nightmare.

Remembrance Day is one day each year the most people are given – free of work – to take two moments out of their day to give thanks and remember those who fought and fight for their freedom. That video above, it isn’t just my worst nightmare. It’s the same nightmare that many others have as well. For some, it’s not a dream at all.

Since the war in Afghanistan, 158 Canadian soldiers have died.

Some soldiers fought and never came home.

Lest we forget ♥

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