Monday, November 19, 2012

Lest we forget ~ Remembrance Day 2012

In Flanders Field
 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.

One Friday evening and a full Saturday, approximately ten hours in length, was spent seeing our son and his sea cadet corps assisting in the sale of poppies, by quietly standing outside of various business venues. 

In honor of those who have fought for our freedoms, assorted cadet corps  began working alongside our local Veterans, offering freedom reminders for the upcoming day of November 11th.

Some of the many, many trays of poppies used by many groups and troupes working with our Veterans this particular weekend. 

The Poppy ~ one of the most instantly recognized flowers in the world, offering a humble and wordless reminder of the blood shed for our freedoms.

As per every calendar year, a prayerful memorial service for the both known and unknown soldiers was once again held at the eleventh hour, during the eleventh day, in the eleventh month of this year.

It was an emotional scene when after many proceedings, the very first wreath was carried, and placed on display at the Cenotaph by the parents of a young 19 year old, who recently perished when involved in a "peace keeping" mission in the Middle East. Very sad...

This scene also reminded me of what my grandmother must have felt like each year, after her little brother, a flight sargeant, and also a 19 year old, suddenly died battling for his country's freedom. He was so young. You can read the tribute I wrote about him by clicking HERE.  

As a city, we stood, shoulder to shoulder at this year's November 11th/2012 Remembrance Day Memorial gathering. 

Once again, I felt honored to be there, and I feel very strongly that it should be something personally adopted by everyone, as one of our civic duties in life, a mere once per year committed occasion where we can be united, thankful, show honor, become more prayerful, and offer support toward our many troops both present here locally in attendance, those currently on duty fighting afar, and towards the deceased.

Lest we forget!

Some of our local RCMP troupe, (Royal Canadian Mounted Police). My Uncle was a highly respected RCMP, a pilot actually who had the honor of flying our Prime Minister, Queen Elizabeth and many other dignitaries, during his many years of service. RIP Uncle. 

And here, a while after all the other groups, are our local Sea Cadets. Our son is at the far right in this photo, and below in a blurry quick shot moment. 

I guess I'm just too short to see over the crowd, the one who were clapping in thanksgiving to our groups and troupes this day. Camera in air, I tried. :)

Blurry, the guy in the middle is our son. He's got quite the arm swing march going on there. 

It was quite touching to witness folks walking up after the ceremonies, taking their own poppies from their lapels and placing them lovingly, or thoughtfully onto specific wreaths in honor of others. It was very moving to see tears falling down cheeks, something so very personal to many. 

Finally, a small group shot of those hanging around awaiting their rides home afterward. Another mother and I coaxed this group to pose for us, and after a few jokes, we got great smiles! Yay! 

Thanks everyone! You made us all proud this day.