Pause and remember those who gave us peace and freedom this Sunday, November 11th. Stop for two minutes at the 11th hour and reflect on the following:
There is a story of a sixteen year old who was about to enlist for the First World War. At the orphanage where he lived, the school master told him he would show him how to use a gun. “We’ll go shooting some rabbits.” The teenager replied that he’d rather not, having a pet rabbit himself. The schoolmaster shook his head and replied, “you’re going to have to do a lot more than that, when you go to war.”
Two years later, the young man received a piece of paper commending him for showing valiant effort during 48 hours of continuous action. He was the only one in his unit to survive.
This painting was by a soldier known only by his initials, J.M. He was a member of the Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery and probably witnessed countless scenes like the one above during the first World War.
November 11th is a day to renew our memories of our ancestors’ sacrifices during both world wars, the Korean war and conflicts and peace-keeping missions since then. It is also a day that we should remind ourselves of the hard-fought democracy we have here in Canada. Let’s hold the torch high.
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
Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote those words on the battlefront at Ypres, Belgium in 1915.
Remembrance Day Parades and ceremonies are being held in Nanaimo, Lantzville, Ladysmith, and Qualicum Beach on Sunday, November 11th starting at 10:15am. If you are in Nanaimo drop into the Vancouver Island Military Museum downtown next to the Port Place Mall which will be open after the service.