Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Live, feel dawn, see sunset glow

I feel very strongly about Remembrance Day. If you consider yourself a Canadian, you should, too.

Every year on November 11th, I'm reminded of one summer day in Ottawa. I was visiting a friend from university at her home. And, after just completing a course in Canadian Military History, I asked if we could stop by the Canadian War Museum.

We wandered through... reading... quietly learning. And as I stopped to look at a photograph of a an injured soldier being taken care of by a nurse in a hospital, I felt someone approach beside me. Before I had time to acknowledge the person beside me, I heard an old man's voice say "Just checking to make sure I'm still here".

He was pointing at the photograph. That injured soldier was standing right next to me. Smiling warmly. And I was absolutely speechless for a moment.

This man fought for our country. He gave up everything to defend a country that I can only imagine he loves and is proud to be a part of. There's something so incredible about that act that just makes me well up with tears every time I think of that moment.

I really don't agree with war. But then again, I'm sure many of those men who fought don't either. And yet, they did. For us.

Remember that. Today.

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.
— Lt.-Col. John McCrae


  1. Thank you Heather for the wonderful testimonial It is bringing tears to my eyes You really moved me Thank you!!!!!

  2. Beautifully written, Heather. You made me cry. One of the most poignant poems in the English language, too.