Thursday, November 12, 2009

Remembering

It's always an adventure when we go to Faro, if for no other reason than because we left our normal milieu and did something different!
Yesterday of course was Remembrance Day, and Ross Rivers' ceremony was canceled due to the flu, which seems to have infected everyone. So Abby and I drove the 50 minutes to the next town over to pay our respects and honour those who have fought for Canada.
We trotted into the ceremony a few minutes late and I was promptly reminded that I was not in Ross River anymore when one of the Faro ladies scorned me with a look that could kill. Oops! So we found a seat at the back and some distractions for Abby (my scarf and mitts? Whatever works!) while the crowd sang hymns and listened to readings.
I was all ready to cry my eyes out like I do every November 11th. How could I not, standing in Ottawa when the parade of veterans walked past me, and we all clapped for them in appreciation? Or at a school ceremony when they play that video of war-torn families and families grieiving loss?
This year the readings were community-standard, i.e. rushed and mumbled. At one point a lady read the words, "the ideals of us and them," but I nearly burst out laughing because I thought she said, "the ideals of S&M."
That said, I still let a few tears rolls when a little boy got up to the podium to read In Flanders Fields. If there is a more touching, sad poem, I have yet to hear it.
But the cherry on top for me was getting to spend some of the day with a family directly affected by modern warfare. Our good friends became a couple while he was serving in Afghanistan. Their love literally started out with neither knowing if he would live to see the story continue. Luckily he did, and he returned to his love and they got married and had a beautiful baby boy.
The husband has since became a Mountie and every year I have thought about him and is friends and what he has done and sacrificed for people in his country whom he doesn't even know. He served in both Afghanistan and Bosnia and is a mega hero.
I looked through friends' photos of the downtown Ottawa ceremony from yesterday and it looked like a beautiful sunny day. I wish I had been there to watch the military members and veterans file past, see the snowbirds soar overhead and hear the childrens' choirs sing. But yesterday's ceremony and remembrance was a good place to be to say thanks to all the men and women who keep us safe by doing the dirty work abroad.

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