Sunday, November 12, 2006

Remembrance Day

Another Remembrance Day has come and gone and many people across Canada took time to remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. This morning's photo shows a compilation of 8 photos. When I saw the man standing next to the sign, I thought it would make a good background for a photo ...

My wife, Barbara, wrote a short piece about remembrance yesterday and I am attaching it....

Last night I attended a dinner in honour of our war vets - so very few left from those long ago wars in far away places. But as I watched those few, their faces ravaged by time and their tear-filled eyes heavy with memories of their fallen comrades and the horrors they had seen, I thought also of our new vets who will replace them - the young men and women who serve now in Afghanistan.

I watched my older son, so handsome and proud in his military dress uniform, stand and say grace. My heart was full - full of pride, full of fear! It took every ounce of discipline I had not to grab him in my arms and scream, "Oh God, please don't take my son!" I thought of the thousands and thousands of mothers over the decades, and again today, who have kissed and tightly held on to their sons and daughters who left for war - never knowing if they would ever hold them in their arms again.

Today, both my sons (one as a soldier and one as an RCMP officer) will proudly march in remembrance of our fallen soldiers. I am sure they will think not only of those who died so long ago but of their friends and comrades in Afghanistan, those going, and the 42 Canadian heroes we have already buried.

And so I will don my winter coat, put on my woollen mittens, stuff my pockets with tissues for the tears I know I'll shed, and stand proudly on the sidelines as I watch my son and his unit (the 56 Field Engineers) march through our small town and lovingly lay wreaths at our war memorial. And later, I will hug a soldier and thank him or her for the work they do for the people of Afghanistan and Canada. And as I hug that soldier, I will pray that next year he or she will be still here to hug again.

If you see our soldiers today, hug them long and hard in love and gratitude. Hold them even closer in your hearts and prayers until their mission ends. Tonight as you lay snugly in your bed, free from fear and oppression, free to protest if you choose, thank a soldier!

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