Tag: Remembrance Day

Lest We Forget

It is Remembrance Day in Canada and I have already observed my 2 minutes of silence, as I do every year – twice actually – here in Bedford, Nova Scotia and again with my Ottawa, Ontario observers just a little while ago.

It is a really important observation, this silence. We remember. We stop – for a scant two minutes – to show respect for fallen soldiers, for wars long since ended, for living veterans.

Two minutes is very nearly no time at all. Yet for some, apparently, it is a torturous two minutes of wasting their time. Can you imagine? Someone who has absolutely no clue what actual torturous things are, complaining about having to be still for 2 teeny tiny minutes? Unreal!

So what would you do when faced with such a person?

This is what singer/songwriter Terry Kelly did.

He carved in stone an experience from his life where this exact situation occurred.

Isn’t this brilliant?

I love when a person takes a negative situation and not only finds a way to turn it into a positive, but goes a step further and creates a beautiful thing that can at once tell us what happened and remind us to never be that person or allow that situation to happen again.

From Terry Kelly’s YouTube Channel:

On November 11, 1999 Terry Kelly was in a drug store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. At 10:55 AM an announcement came over the stores PA asking customers who would still be on the premises at 11:00 AM to give two minutes of silence in respect to the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us.

Terry was impressed with the stores leadership role in adopting the Legions two minutes of silence initiative. He felt that the stores contribution of educating the public to the importance of remembering was commendable.

When eleven o’clock arrived on that day, an announcement was again made asking for the two minutes of silence to commence. All customers, with the exception of a man who was accompanied by his young child, showed their respect.

Terry’s anger towards the father for trying to engage the stores clerk in conversation and for setting a bad example for his child was channeled into a beautiful piece of work called, A Pittance of Time. Terry later recorded A Pittance of Time and included it on his full-length music CD, The Power of the Dream.

Thank You to the Royal Canadian Legion Todmorden Branch #10 and Woodbine Height Branch #2 for their participation in the Video.” 

Isn’t that awesome?

I think so.

Even though I have heard Terry Kelly songs for most of my life (He’s an Atlantic Canadian, too!) I hadn’t heard this song or the story behind it until a Remembrance Day Ceremony at my son’s school in Ottawa. (I appreciate the irony of this.) Since then, though, it has become one of my favourite ways to commemorate the importance of those two minutes.

We also wear our poppies, of course.

Since Remembrance Day in Nova Scotia is a day off school and work (so that people can observe and take part in special ceremonies all over the province), schools usually have a special observation a day or two before November 11th.

Thing 2’s school had a Remembrance day ceremony on Monday and she was excited to get to sing a beautiful song*** with her classmates. She wore a red dress and had her poppy on. The ceremony, which was scheduled for 9 a.m.,  was mainly for the students and a few guests. I was happy to hear that Geoff Regan attended. It’s nice when politicians keep their feet firmly planted**** in their communities. She reported that the 2 minutes of silence were successful – except for some cute Grade Primaries who felt compelled to clap for their Music Teacher’s rendition of The Last Post on his sax – once settled though, the silence was observed well.

Thing 1 also took part in his school’s Remembrance Day ceremony on Tuesday. He told me (without my asking) when he walked through the door after school, still in Band Concert dress – complete with poppy – that their 2 minutes was the best yet. He said it was eerily silent and that you couldn’t even hear people breathing or shuffling in their seats. Not a single cleared throat, cough or sneeze broke the silence. He seemed particularly pleased, actually.

My kids get it.

I am so thankful.

We Shall Keep The Faith

Oh! You who sleep in Flanders’ Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew;
We caught the torch you threw,
And holding high we kept
The faith with those who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valour led.

It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders’ Fields.

And now the torch and Poppy red,
Wear in honour of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught:
We’ve learned the lesson that ye taught
In Flanders’ Fields.

– Moina Michael

With that I will leave you for today. 

Peace.

How do you observe Remembrance Day? 

 

 

**Please visit www.terry-kelly.com.

**When she came home all excited a month ago to tell me they were singing I cried. Not just because she’s adorable and because the song was beautiful, but because I know the songwriter! She is amazing! *tears This could be a whole post on its own.

****I believe this to be true of Mr. Regan because he has been present at so many community and school events. Why, just last spring I was slinging BBQed sausages and hotdogs with him at Thing 2’s former school Spring Fair. 

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And In The Morning, We Will Remember Them.

 

Today, November 11th, is Remembrance Day in Canada.

In Nova Scotia it was a day off from school, for all children, and work, for many adults, so they could reflect on the many sacrifices that have been made by soldiers of the Canadian Military so that we can enjoy our many freedoms.

It was the first thing on my mind when I woke up this morning.

One of the ways we chose to reflect, pay our respects, and express our thanks, was to attend a Remembrance Day Ceremony at our local cenotaph.

So that is exactly what we did.

 

It was a gorgeous Autumn morning, so we decided to park a fair distance away and walk along the Bedford Highway and Shore Drive to the cenotaph in Fish Hatchery Park. We were not alone. Many people chose to walk and it was so moving to enter the park from Shore Drive and see a sea of people already there. People were even lining Sunnyside Bridge above the park. It really made me feel so proud.

The ceremony was beautiful and I shed many tears thinking of all the Daddies and Mummies who were lost and the ones who are still offering up their lives to go on dangerous Military missions. Then I thought of all the little children who were without those Mummies and Daddies. It was too much. When “The Last Post” was played I could no longer hold back tears. It’s just such a sad and meaningful piece of music.

I very conscientiously did not touch my iThing for the entire ceremony out of respect for those we were honouring. I chose to remember the ceremony for myself. There were many families present and the children were so respectful and extremely well behaved. It was another proud moment.

After the Act of Remembrance was complete and the many wreaths were placed at the base of the cenotaph and the ceremony was complete we removed our poppies and, along with many of the other attendants, added them to the wreaths.

I felt this was an acceptable time to take a photo (once all the people had gone). I just wanted to capture how lovely the cenotaph looked with all the bright poppies in front of it.

Thing 2 can point out where her poppy is in this photo. It was important to her to choose the right spot. It was sweet to watch the Things taking all of this in this morning. It’s important for children to learn their history and why we do the things we do when it comes to historical events. I am glad our kids are curious and interested. It makes talking about tough topics a lot easier for the parents.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 after removing their poppies and placing them at the cenotaph. They insisted on dressing up this morning. Thing 1 wore dress clothes and, to me, Thing 2 was like a poppy personified.

It was a wonderful morning. We walked back to our car and I noticed these huge poppies on the Mosque on the Bedford Highway and had to take a picture. Isn’t that nice?

We were trying to think of something nice we could do with the remainder of Remembrance Day and we decided to visit Video Difference to see if there was something we could watch as a family. How nice is this “Feature” section for Remembrance Day?

We had a hard time finding something. I mean, let’s face it, war isn’t exactly a topic we want our children exposed to in movies, so it makes sense there are not a lot of selections, but then I spotted “From Up On Poppy Hill”. We have enjoyed many of the Miyazaki films, so we thought we’d judge a book by it’s cover – just this once – and give it a go.

We are just about to watch it, actually.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

It has been a nice day, all-in-all.

Even though it is sad to think about war (and all that goes with it), it is very important to stop and remember all of the people who sacrificed so much, so that we could have the freedom to enjoy a sunny day in November with our families and communities sharing expressions of those very freedoms.

So, how did you spend today? Did you visit a local cenotaph? Did you attend a Remembrance Day ceremony?

Was this Remembrance Day different than last year?

 

 

 

 

The Act of Remembrance is generally performed by a solo reading of the poem extract, with a response by all assembled. The exact wording of the Act of Remembrance is:

They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.

 

Source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kcmjRlmg-BE/UJi-5g4KxPI/AAAAAAAACrM/7eygWHEQsIc/s1600/for+everything+there+is+a+season.jpg

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Remembrance

Out of the Mouths of Babes, Oft Times Come Gems.

This is a post I drafted the day Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was killed while doing the most honourable of duties, guarding the National War Memorial in our Nation’s Capital, Ottawa, Ontario. He was taking care of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Honour Guard. The events of this day were devastating to all the people who were affected and especially to the family of Cpl. Cirillo. He left behind many people who loved him. No one more than his son

I had planned on posting this little conversation I had with my daughter, the next day, but I just couldn’t because I was simply too sad. There were too many unknowns. So, I just tucked it away.

Today, I have had a change of heart. Here is the post.

 

Thing 2 is a very smart person.

We were discussing recent events of the world and I asked her, “Why can’t everyone just be nice and good all the time? Why do some people have to be mean and bad?”

This was her response:

“Because some people like it that way. It’s like the Lego Movie, you know? Lord Business? They want everything to be perfect, but their perfect is just … different.”

I love this kid.

I am so glad she is mine.

I am lucky to be her Mom.

 

That’s it.

So why the change of heart today?

Well, first thing this morning I saw this beautiful message of hope and inspiration. 

 

It made me think about Cpl. Cirillo again, which in turn made me think of Thing 2’s perspective and remember our conversation.

Then, while running errands with my children after school, I made a purchase – of alligator clips for completing homemade poppies for Remembrance Day, no less – I received this back as my change. It was definitely a sign.

 

 

 

 

There are trust funds for Cpl. Cirillo’s son, Marcus, and you can find them here.