Like every year, since I’ve started the blog, here are my previous Remembrance Day posts:
Today was a completely different Remembrance Day for me.
For the first time in what I realize has been 10 years, I went to the Remembrance Day ceremony. This year my new husband was marching in the parade, and standing for the ceremony in Fredericton, New Brunswick. I drove there with my parents, walked from the car in the freezing cold, and stood there to honour the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
It was truly humbling. And I realized, after 10 years, just how much I missed it. I have had my own routine and traditions for the last decade but standing there today I realized that I had left a part of my childhood behind – a part of who I am. I didn’t feel guilty because I always pay my respects on November 11th, but I felt like I had found something that I had lost.
Standing there watching my Dad salute for his country, and for the amazing men and women we were there for – clapping as his fellow veterans marched by – and knowing that I was there to see it and to document it warmed my heart on a cold, cold day.
Watching my husband march by me – knowing that I have joined my mother in two elite leagues of women – I am now an army wife and a veteran’s wife.
I have never felt such pride as I did today.
And standing in the cold on a street in downtown Fredericton I looked to my left and saw a woman. She is a women from both of the elite leagues I just mentioned, I’m sure, but she is in an unspoken league of her own as well. She was holding a large wooden frame, and it held a plaque and a set of soldier’s medals. The soldier who earned those medals couldn’t be there today to wear them proudly on his or her chest. The ultimate sacrifice.
So setting aside all of my love for my Dad, husband, and the countless family members and friends in my life and all of the pride I felt spending time with them today, and standing there to honour past and present service men and women, I felt something else.
I looked over and saw a woman holding a frame where she once held a loved one.
And the full impact of what today means settled over me.
I won’t forget.