Today, November 11th is the day Canadians celebrate Remembrance Day. The reason why I like to say celebrate, is because it's to honor the soldiers past and present who have made our country a very safe place to live. We have so many freedoms that we often take for granted, but should really treasure. So for those reasons I celebrate and take this day very seriously. Also on this day I went into labor so for other reasons I'll also remember ;0)
We proudly wear a Poppy on or coats to show our support and respect. At 11:11 am we all stop for a minute of silence. It doesn't matter where you are (in a bank, in a board room meeting, grocery shopping, school) you stop. I like this tradition.
The following poem is one that we use for Remembrance Day. It's very fitting for this occasion.
In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Inspiration for the poem — In Flanders Fields
A lot of people don't know this, but during the Second Battle of Ypres a Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2 May, 1915 by an exploding shell. He was a friend of the Canadian military doctor Major John McCrae.
John was asked to conduct the burial service owing to the chaplain being called away on duty elsewhere. It is believed that later that evening John began the draft for his famous poem 'In Flanders Fields'.
To all my Canadian friends, I hope you have a great Remembrance Day, and to my American friends I hope you have a great Veteran's day. To all my friends who don't celebrate either occasion, I hope you seize the day!
All the best,