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.