I want to reflect on Remembrance Day, but worry that anything I say will be somewhat trite or less than is in fact due. I want to express a bunch of thoughts that I find somewhat difficult to put into any useful order. I suspect this piece will be a bit disorganized, but I hope at least one of these paragraphs will be strike the right chord.
My students asked me what was with the red flowers people where wearing. Since this happens every year, I was prepared for it. The truth is that my students (currently) are a bit more aware of war since most of them have either done military service or have had family members do it. My maternal Grandfather served in the war, and my father and his parents’ lives were profoundly changed by it. I have largely been fortunate in my ignorance.
At least one of these students made it a point to go and get himself a poppy. His donation was significant because he was a student on a budget. He explained that he felt it had to be so since he got his from a veteran in the subway.
Every year I wear my poppy, and I tune into Remembrance Day ceremonies on TV. It doesn’t really seem like enough.
Amongst the teachers, since we were already discussing the US election with those amongst us who had been born in the US, wondered if the poppy was only a Canadian thing. Obviously there are other countries wearing them. Maybe it should be a world wide thing.
The newspaper carried stories of more Canadian Peacekeepers being sent to dangerous areas. The professional soldiers are prepared for what they are getting into….but can you really ever be prepared? I can only imagine that mix of adrenaline and fear that can only come from a war zone. It might make for good movies, but in this age of superheroes and special effects, it requires scenes of carnage (which war is) to really make an impression.
While playing darts this week (at the Legion), my darting opponent has served in the military and was deployed overseas in one of the more recent conflicts. Despite the fun and friendly atmosphere, he did say that he still has nightmares. Chilling to say the least.
A moment of silence….
And, this commercial never fails to bring a tear to my eye.