Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day

"We will remember them"

At the local cenotaph the wreaths were placed on Sunday and today the main events take place at the centre of town. But a few people came here this morning to leave their poppy and remember the fallen. I came over early, camera in hand, to take a picture with the sun rising - and the camera jammed completely. But I do remember them.

I remember ... my mother telling me of the skies over her London suburb dark with planes, of hearing Chamberlain's 1939 radio broadcast "This country is now at war with Germany"", of their classroom windows covered with glued shatter-proof netting, of nights spent in an air raid shelter, and more. It wasn't sure that the Allies would win.

And we are in uncertain times yet. Young people who don't look much older than my teenager's friends have enlisted, wanting to be a force for good in the world. So I am grateful this day to be here, a fortunate descendant of brave people, that kind hands loaned me a camera, and that good brave people - before whom I am humbled - are passing on the torch and going forward, despite the dangers.


  1. What a beautiful post, that brings many thoughts to the surface.

    I remember, back in my days working in a major law firm, working with a substitute secretary who was a Brit who was old enough to remember working though the Blitz.

    It was remarkable to hear her remembrances. She and other secretaries used manual typewriters, and saved their carbon paper, leaving it on radiators, or other heat sources, overnight so that they would melt a bit and be ready to make copies again in the morning.

    If there were ever a siren sound, they would grab their typewriters and dive under their desks. They needed to protect those typewriters, so that they could also protect their jobs.

    This is a bit of a different remembrance for November 11. How truly awful that human beings around the world still find it necessary to fight.


  2. An eloquent post that says what is in my heart. In my self imposed semi-isolation, Linda and I watched the ceremony on TV from Ottawa and were impressed with the crowds and the genuine out pouring of emotion.

  3. Your thoughtful tribute is all the more poignant because despite the "war to end all wars" we are still fighting and brave young men and women are still dying.