November 11, 2005
Ceremonies and the like

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.

Think of those words today. Think of what they mean and not just the flowing poetry they are.

After my ranting this week regarding the importance of this day, I found myself drawn to the doing something a little more than usual. So this morning, I bundled myself up and went to City Hall for the Remembrance Day Ceremonies.

The weather was absolutely atrocious. Without exaggeration, there were some areas of the street that were flooded and the rain was torrential with the wind whipping it at a 45 degree angle. But as was noted those that served, and do serve, do not get the option to chose what weather they go out in.

It was a beautiful ceremony, of which I will post pictures later once my fingers start properly moving again. One speaker noted as those that served in defence of Canada during World War I, World War II and Korea become aged, we lose our personal perspective in the true sacrifice that was made. Only 5 veterans from World War I are still surviving today, and the average age of a WWII vet is 82. Now, more than ever, it is important to remember.

Those serving as Peacekeepers and in Afghanistan, as well as other posts are few and far between in Canada. We don't see the military presence as often it is in other countries, and it's easy for many to put it aside.

A few posts worthy of note today:

The story of the poem, In Flanders Field is told here.

Scotland observes Armistice Day here.

The Guardian tells the story of a 104-year old World War I veteran who was a young teenager when he served on a battleship.

Thousands gathered in the capital of Australia to observe the 87th anniversary of the Armistice Treaty, another country that had a notable absence of WWI vets at the ceremony.

In St. Louis, a French ex-pat shares his story and memories of liberation.

The origin of the two-minute silence is told here.

The mother of a soldier killed in the friendly-fire incident laid a wreath in Ottawa in honour of her son's supreme sacrifice.

A new Book of Remembrance is unveiled in Ottawa's ceremony.

John The Mad has a post up about Canada's Unknown Soldier.

North American Patriot reminds us it's a Matter of Valour.

To all veterans, no matter what country you hail from, no matter what length of your service, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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Turning thirty and a half
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