Eslyn’s school had their Remembrance Day Ceremony today, she was a flag carrier and got to wear her Spark’s uniform. She was so proud to be one of the kids chosen. Since she was part of the ceremony I went to watch her.
I remember going to Remembrance Day ceremonies as a child. I knew what it was about, and it did have meaning, but it was almost a distance that my generation had from it. The people being remembered and honoured were our Grandfathers and Great-Grandfathers. Yes they were people we loved, but we weren’t touched by the war and the sacrifice like our grandparents and parents were. It was their fathers, brothers, sons, uncles and friends who never came home, who were brave enough to go to war knowing they might make the ulitimate sacrafice, we were a generation removed from the sorrow.
I remember being thankful that my Grandad was lucky enough to make it home from the war, if he hadn’t my Mom wouldn’t have been born and I wouldn’t be here. I remember being thankful that my Dad, who was a reservist when he was younger (he served in the Governor General’s Foot Guards), never got called to war.
Today’s ceremony was different. During ‘O Canada’ they played a video. It was to honour those who have served in Afghanistan. They showed repatriation ceremonies, wives and mothers being given the flag, soldiers standing at memorials. But what really hit me, what made me cry, were the names and pictures of many of the 158 men and women who have given their lives over the past few years in a fight for freedom. These weren’t the grainy, black and white photos of years before used in the ceremonies of my youth. These photos are the here and now.
It hit me then. Our kids don’t have the removal from the sacrifice that we did as children. These men and women are their fathers, brothers, uncles, mothers, sisters, aunts. They are OUR families, friends and loved ones.
I wish that our children didn’t have to worry about Daddy going off to war, about Daddy fighting far away and maybe never coming home. I wish that families out there didn’t have to worry every time the phone rings or there is a knock at the door. I wish that the realities of what Remembrance Day were even further removed from our kids then they were for us. But they aren’t.
To the families of those that have served or are serving, you are amazing. Know that your loved ones are in our thoughts, and we wish them home safe.
To those that were brave enough to serve and made the ultimate sacrifice, you will be remembered always.
To those brave enough to be willing to put your life on the line for the rest of us, thank you is inadequate, but it is all I have.
We will never forget.