I love history, but I wouldn't claim to know much about it at all. I just love knowing that I am grounded here in Canada. My house, for instance, was built more than 100 years ago, and young men who lived in my house may have fought in some of the wars.
But knowing all of the details of history, and honouring the people who gave their lives for my freedom aren't the same things, in my opinion.
I wasn't going to write today, but this morning while at a Remembrance Day Service at the Tweed Cenotaph, the ceremony MC said at the end of the service a thank-you to all the children who came out to the service because the children are "the interest on debts so dearly paid". I couldn't help but get teared up, looking my my kids standing there with students from their school, and thanking God that we live somewhere that is safe, and free.
So I thought, why not write something today? Why not say "thank-you" to all those who have fought, and are currently fighting for the freedom we value so highly here in Canada.
I wouldn't encourage fighting, but I think that the brave individuals who stepped (or still step) forward, or had been drafted and went forth with courage, deserve honour. As a nation, we are who we are because of brave men and women who believe in our country.
Last summer, while in Europe, my husband and I had the opportunity to visit many war memorials, and it was overwhelming, to say the least.
So, instead of prattling on, I just wanted to share some of the photos I have from the memorials we visited.
Below are photos from some of the memorials we visited in Belgium
Here you see a marked grave, and a photo of the young man buried (elsewhere) in the cemetery. Also a grave with the marking "Just a thought of sweet remembrance by Mother", as well as graves marked with "Gone but not forgotten", and "known unto God" (which are marked on many graves where the soldier could not be identified).
Pictured here is "Sanctuary Wood", located in Belgium.
"After the First World War a farmer returned to reclaim his land in and around what was left of the wood he had left in 1914. A section of the original wood and the trenches in it were cleared of debris and casualties but generally the farmer left a section of a British trench system as he found it" (source).
This is Hill 62 Memorial,
"The memorial is located beside Sanctuary Wood on the top of Mount Sorrel, which lies next to 'Hill 62' all of which the Canadians held or recaptured from the Germans during those offensive operations in early June 1916. The British Official History of the war recorded "The first Canadian deliberately planned attack in any force, had resulted in an unqualified success."
These are photos from a very emotional ceremony, the Last Post Ceremony, in Ypres, Belgium. It is similar to a Remembrance Day Ceremony you may attend with the sounding of the Last Post, a minute of silence, the “Réveille” bugle call, and laying of wreaths in memoriam.
After the wreath-laying a member or guest of the Last Post Association, a visiting dignitary or a visitor will have been invited to say the words of the Exhortation, taken from Laurence Binyon's poem “For the Fallen” (fourth verse). Standing in the centre of the road under the arch of the Hall of Memory the person will say the words:
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”
The Flanders Field cemetery is in the area known as Flanders Fields, where fierce fighting took place throughout the war on the Western Front.
Canadian Lieutenant Colonel, John McCrae, was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I, and he wrote the poem "In Flanders Fields" on May 3rd, 1915, after witnessing the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, the day before.
The animation below gives a quick summary of how the poppy became our symbol of Remembrance (Source)
Below is the poem "Flanders Field" by Colonel John McCrae
I was sitting and talking with my 8 year old daughter the other day, and she was asking about the wars and Remembrance Day. I couldn't help crying talking with her about it all, and what it meant to those families all those years ago, and today. Seeing graves in Europe marked "Known unto God" because they could not be identified, broke my heart. And the "just a thought of sweet remembrance by Mother" left me feeling so much pain for all the mothers who lost their sons in The Great War.
Whatever your views on war, and conflicts between countries, you cannot deny that we live in a place that is beautiful, strong and free.
My children can play outside without fear, they can attend church services, go to school, spend lazy Saturdays in their pajamas watching Netflix. They are free! I am proud to be a Canadian, and to celebrate Remembrance Day.
Lest We Forget
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Hi, I'm Amy-Lyn!
I am the lady behind this here blog! I live in the sticks with my animals, my super handsome husband, and my
3 amazing kids!
Here you'll find things from recipes (gluten-free, paleo, and strait up junk food!), DIY ideas, thoughts on raising a son with autism, and whatever else pops into my brain! : )
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