November 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada to mark the sacrifice of the men and women who gave up their lives in the service of their nation.
In Flanders Fields, By John McCrae
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.
If you live in Canada, please remember to wear a poppy and observe the minute of silence.
I don’t know of anyone related to me that was lost in wars. Perhaps there were some, but I don’t know.
But thousands and millions of people, young and old, lived and dies in trenches and airplanes and the icy North Atlantic for years on end.
Maybe I didn’t lose any family members, but who knows what kind of wonderful people didn’t make it through that war. I have a few people in my life who are important to me… the thought of them, or me, going through that, or being destroyed by a bullet or bomb is unbelievable.
Who knows what people might exist today if they or their ancestors hadn’t been killed in those conflicts.
It’s difficult to imagine what it was like…
It’s difficult, too, to believe that the War to End All Wars… didn’t.
Thank heavens I don’t have to live in times like that.
I attended part of an Armistice Day remembrance here in Auckland, got a bit teary eyed at the lowering of the flag to the sound of the lone bugle at the eleventh hour.
And got a tad annoyed that traffic still drove right past, including noisy buses, when the side-street could have been closed off for the duration of the service. Voices couldn’t be heard above the din of a present that couldn’t seem to care to allow one brief moment of sad recollection and reinforcement of hope.
My granddad fought in WWII and my nan lost two brothers. I watched the Remembrance Day parade yesterday and got teary-eyed like I always do. jjimm, I think you’re right - we have no idea how much we owe to those generations that fought.
Two minutes impeccably observed in my very large open plan office, mostly staffed by younger people. I think that there is some revival of interest in the two World Wars, movies such as Saving Private Ryan, Schindlers List, and TV shows like Band of Brothers contributing to this along with some wonderful books (Faulkes “Birdsong” and Beevors “Stalingrad” top my list). This is a good thing.
For anyone who hasn’t read it before this thread is the most moving I’ve seen on this board.
Not 11:00 here yet. I’ll observe the two minutes in… 55 minutes. I have two poppies this year- one green centred, and the other black centred.
I just sent a copy of Flanders Fields to a bunch of American friends. Incidentally, I live up the street from John McCrae’s grandniece.
Remembrance Day always gives me Rilla Of Ingleside flashbacks. I just found the bit where Susan salutes the flag.
she went out and ran up the flag, for the first time since the fall of Jerusalem. As it caught the breeze and swelled gallantly above her, Susan lifted her hand and saluted it… “We’ve all given something to keep you flying,” she said, “Four hundred thousand of our boys gone overseas- fifty thousand of them killed. But- you are worth it!”
That whole book always gives me unusually strong feelings of patriotism.
Ireland doesn’t officially do anything on 11/11 due to our history with the UK etc. However many Irishmen died with the rest of the world fighting in the 2 great wars and many more as part of UN peacekeeping actions.
Living in a country that was mostly liberated by Canadian troops, how can I not wholeheartedly second the OP?
I quite literally owe my life to these guys. If any Canadian poster has a relative who was part of the liberation, tell them this. Tell them, that there’s a thriving, multi-cultural nation of 16 million people, far away by the North Sea, that would not have been the same without them. Tell them, that they are not forgotten. That there’s a beer with their name on it waiting in every old bar in Amsterdam.