Sunday, November 11, 2012

Least we forget. Remembrance Day

November 11th in Canada is Remembrance Day, which marks the end of the first world war, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. It has become a day to remember all of the people who gave their lives for our country, particularly in World War 1 and 2. We were poppies throughout November as a sign of respect. The symbol of the poppy comes from the poem 'In Flanders Fields' written by the Canadian John McCrae back in 1915. And while I am not a huge fan of poetry in general, this is truly one of the most beautiful, moving poems I know.

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.

This year,  I think I'll take 2 minutes of silence with the rest of Canada at 11AM and remember not only those people who gave their lives, but also those who had them ripped away. Last year I had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz while I was in Poland, and there are few places in the world that I feel can touch a person so deeply as that. So whether you hold Remembrance Day in your hearts today or not, maybe take a second to Remember what you have to be thankful for, you are alive, you are free, and the fact that you are came from the sacrifices of so many people.

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