Tuesday, November 11, 2008
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.

— Lt.-Col. John McCrae

It snowed out last night. Normally I'd be excited but not today. It's Remembrance Day here in Canada and many other Commonwealth nations. Veteran's Day in the US. We pause to remember those who gave their lives in conflicts past. Naturally my thoughts turn, as usual, to Cecily and Eliol, my mother's parents, both of whom served overseas during the second World War. My grandmother was stationed in England as a driver and my grandfather served in Scotland before transferring to artillery/anti-tank unit and saw action in Germany and France. Both survived the war, thankfully, but many did not.

In addition to the grandparents, this year brings up thoughts of my father as well. He turned 62 this year and is himself a former serviceman. He joined up after highschool in order to see the world and see it, he did. He travelled to Europe, New Zealand, Bermuda, Haiti, Cyprus and who knows how many other places I can't remember. We used to have a huge wall map with black lines drawn from whereever we were posted at the time to the places he had travelled. Needless to say, I became well-versed in geography at an early age. Dad and his missus came to the city this past weekend for a visit (and doctors' visits, shopping, etc as always) and we had a nice visit. What struck me most though was how old he's starting to look. What happened to the active, energetic, father I knew? It seems each time I see him, he ages five or six years. I know eventually he'll be gone but it makes me sad to imagine it. So this year, even though he's still alive and kicking, I'm remembering my father along with those family and friends who are no longer with us.

I doubt think I'll be online much today because it's a difficult day. I'm sure you'll forgive me if I don't visit.

Photo of Edmonton Cenotaph courtesy of sfllaw (flickr)


Wandering Coyote said...

After three days of rain, I woke up to snow today, too.

It's really hard watching parents age. I'm going through the same thing with my dad, especially last spring when he needed heart surgery for his angina. He's still very robust, but it really brought home to me that he's getting on and nothing is guaranteed...

tweetey30 said...

Its not snowing here yet but cold... But I do agree with you on this remembrance day... I was trying to explain it to Kora the best I could and put it in her studies today. Not an easy task. Hope you have a good day remembering our troops and the Canadian troops as well.N..

Heather said...


Barbara Bruederlin said...

One of the hardest things in life is seeing your parents age and diminish. I wish you many more years of life with your dad.

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