This is non-stamping related so you can come back another day if you wish….
Today is Remembrance Day in Canada and Britain (Veteran’s Day in the US). For a brief moment we stop and remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for the rights and freedoms we enjoy each day. At the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month we stop to remember.
When I was a child we didn’t have a National Holiday – we went to school and at exactly 11:00 am we stood by our desks, wearing our poppies proudly to hold a collective silence. It was a day that my parents took special notice of and taught my sisters and I to never forget. My parents grew up in Scotland during the Second World War and they shared many stories with me about their experiences.
There is a stretch of highway in Ontario that has been renamed The Highway of Heroes. It’s the stretch from CFB (Canadian Forces Base) Trenton to the morgue where all returning fallen soldiers make their final journey back home. Over the years, thousands and thousands of people have spontaneously been drawn to this stretch of road – they line the banks and the bridges, waving Canadian flags, silently saluting the heroes – over 130 casualities to date. Here is an NBC News report on this highway and I found it very moving.
Then there is the famous 13 line poem by Canadian Lt-Col.John McCrae written during the Battle of Ypres in World War 1 which has become something that Canadian children have recited every year during our Remembrance Day ceremonies. Dr. McCrae died of pneumonia in France on January 28, 1918.
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.
Lest We Forget