Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude V2#11 - Peace

I went to the cenotaph for the Remembrance Day ceremonies today. They moved the cenotaph in our town a few years back and I haven’t been since. It’s in the plaza between City Hall and the main library now and it’s a great place because it’s large and perfect for parades and marches by the groups that participate. Seeing the air cadets marching first brought back memories of when Aaron and Robert were in Cadets. It was always the first big event of the year for them.

The ceremony was pretty standard. O Canada, a moment of silence. A bugler playing “Taps”, the roll call of the dead and the chilling “They do not answer sir”, including one name from the Afghanistan conflict. One of the cadets recited “In Flanders Fields” and the chaplain read a poem called “The Man We Didn’t Know”.

It was a great day for the ceremony. Clear with just a hint of fall in the air, but hardly any breeze. At 11:11 a squadron of planes flew over. One had been circling so I was waiting when I heard it coming again so low, I wasn’t expecting the group of them though. Very cool.

As a result of the genealogy work I’ve been doing lately, I can’t help but think of my ancestors who paid the ultimate sacrifice. “Great Uncle” Melville, who was killed in action in Italy at the age of twenty four and Cecil and Harold who escaped with their lives but always carried the horrors of war with them.

When the rifle corps gave a three gun salute the sound reverberated through the plaza and it gave us just a tiny touch of what it must have been like for these brave souls.

The wreath laying portion of the ceremony took the longest but it’s neat to see so many groups and individuals honouring the dead.

So today, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, I am grateful for all those who fought for the freedom I enjoy each day and for the peace that,mostly, reigns, in our country.

I’m also reviewing some old school work right now and I cam across a poster I did as a project. It has peace symbols on two corners and an outline of a dove on the other two. Here are the words:

PEACE to me is…

Peace to me is no fighting with friends family or other countries,

Peace to me is sharing with good manners at all times,

Peace to me is quite dinners and a family reunion once in awhile,

Peace to me is getting along with friends and family,

Peace to me is a Dove with the twig in the mouth or the peace sign, Peace to me is a very good thing to have!

By Heidi, estimated age 8

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