Thursday, November 11, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude V3#11 - Remembering

I'm trying not to be annoyed that Ontario is apparently the only provice (and no I haven't researched this so I could be wrong) that hasn't designated November 11th, Remembrance Day, as a statutory holiday. I'm not annoyed that I have classes, in fact I'm thankful that I'm free to attend university but I'm annoyed that, because I DO have class, I wasn't able to attend a proper Remembrance Day ceremony like I usually like to do. Interestingly enough though, this minor annoyance provided me with a very profound Remembrance Day.

Today, instead of attending a large ceremony with parades, lots of flags, pomp and circumstance, I had to make do at a local memorial just across from campus. I see the memorial most days and I've stopped to reflect on it before. Today it was drapped with hand knit poppies and there were wreaths from the local Legions in front. What was amazingly profound was that at 11am, without prompting, without anyone directing and without any sound whatsoever, a group of people stopped, stood at the memorial and silently remembered. After a few minutes they each took off their poppy, placed it on a wreath and many briefly touched the monument or kissed their finger tips and then laid that kiss on the monument. It was all wordless and fairly short but it touched me deeply.

It reminded me that we don't need big flag waving ceremonies to remember. It can me done quietly, reverently and individually. We also don't need to wait for November 11th to remember. But, today I am specifically remembering. Remembering the family and each person that I never knew who gave their lives so that I can gripe about the fact that I had class and had to attend a quiet "ceremony" instead of the big one.

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