Saturday, November 11, 2006

Memorable Remembering Today

So another seasonal event over! This Remembrance Day we took the two kids out to a local park aptly dubbed Memorial Park. It was a perfect day for Centotaph Services bright but nippy-damp. We squeaked in at 8 minutes to bugle so our toddler took in the important aspects of the rites without any undue waiting. At her age she especially liked the flags, the bugle (yes, just like Little Bear's, honey), the horses -- oh the horses -- and the marching. I think she got the concept of Canada this AM.

In my bygone youth I regularly attended November 11 programs in my hometown and at the main Vancouver Cenotaph since my brother was an Air Cadet. (You guessed it I was the family Space Cadet!). I like the holiday. In elementary school I was often picked to recite In Flanders Fields for I had the dubious distinction of an apitude for public speaking; yeah that made me about as popular as my voracious reading of the World Book Encyclopedia. In later years I would remember by running the service on TV or maybe I'd go bowling... My old apartment was on the flypath to the downtown Cenotaph and quite often it was the drone of the Harvards that gave me the cue to stop my holiday weekend mega-meal-making or whatever to take the minutes and observe the silence.

Today was a satisfying remembering... I got teary as I watched the grey vets march on, my heart taking a brief tightening in memory of my loveable-beyond-words Uncle A. a veteran of Europe. It has been some dozen years since he passed on now. I was happy as I looked onto the playground my daughter shared with the Filipino kids and the Polish ones, how the Chinese Dad over there shushed his girls, the Punjabi Lady Police Officer we saw there, the Sheriffs who also bore Blue Berets and how our German Neighbours stood with us and we with them. The pipes played gaily on the march west to Legion at the end for Hot Dogs and Barley Stew, doors open to everyone. My son rested in the fresh air on a soft lambskin an angel face and my daughter clamoured to be a part. She said, "Mommy, I share my baby with 'dem"... Yes, honey, that's nice. "Mommy, I give 'dem a kiss from my bear." Well, what could be a finer salute. The peace we enjoy here. The security of our family and our community. I remember.


Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

When I was in Grade Four I won a 'Young Writers' award for a Remembrance Day poem that I wrote - 'On This Day' - which began, fittingly, with the following lines:

On this day
The soldiers fought
For freedom
And for pride
Some of them were wounded
Many of them died

I was made to recite it at school assemblies and family dinners for many years to come. I still recvite it in my head every Remembrance Day.

Just thought I'd share.

7:51 a.m.  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

*Recite* it.

7:52 a.m.  

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