It has been 15 years since I have lived in a province that recognizes Remembrance Day as a holiday. Ontario does not and a day off notwithstanding, I always felt a vague sense of unease for the lack of honour. But I returned to British Columbia and we have a long weekend due to Remembrance Day. But to me somehow it has to be earned.
At the base of our building is Victory Square that holds the main Vancouver cenotaph and it was the site of the major ceremony in Vancouver, though there were plenty others. A couple of posts that I liked about ceremonies in Vancouver:
I was on the opposite side of the square from”theurbanbeautiful”. We arrived promptly at ten because I wanted to hear the choir singing and watched the many men and women who serve march to honour the veterans of Canadian combat.
Both of my grandfather’s served during World War II, but stationed in Canada and did not participate in any battles. My grandpa recently told me a story of a Japanese submarine that passed near Sidney (north of Victoria) that “lobbed a 5 pounder at us”. Not only was I completely unaware of any enemy military presence in Canada, but his story brought home how easily human life is ended during conflict.
I am not in military family nor am I close to anyone who is a military family. I do not know how spouses and children and parents and friends say goodbye to their loved one during a tour of duty or before a long shift in the RCMP or Coast Guard. Knowing the dangers they face and the life altering things they will see. It is something I don’t know if I could live with and I am thankful for those who do.
November 11th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Strange and uneven gait after standing for an hour and a half, but for a worthy reason.