Remembrance Day has always meant so much to me. Though my family doesn't have a gallant military history, I have grown up learning of the incredible daily sacrifices our armed servicemen and women give every day.
|Circa 2001 (approx.)|
Every November 11, I participated in the Remembrance Day parade in my area. As a cadet with St. John Ambulance I marched alongside veterans and those currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces. I heard their stories and saw how much they and their families gave up for me to have opportunities. I want to honour them in always remembering.
In America, today is celebrated as Veterans Day. On Friday, Justin's high school honoured veterans by presenting a very powerful Veterans Day program. Being Canadian, I was excited to learn more about American traditions. I heard the military songs and saw the flags for all five branches (Air Force, Navy, Army, Marines, Coast Guard). The students dressed in military attire and presented poems, stories, and songs relating what it means to be an American hero. The most powerful moment was the honouring of the veterans in attendance. Over thirty minutes was spent thanking each veteran in attendance for his or her service. It was beautiful.
I found a local Veterans Day parade and program to attend today. My mother-in-law and I braved the cold to watch the veterans, boy scouts, and bands march down main street towards the war memorial. A ceremony followed the parade and began with all in attendance facing the West to pay respect to the honoured dead. (I had never heard of this tradition but later learned we face westward toward the setting sun as a representation of their setting lives.) The high school band played the national anthem followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Stories were given of local men who bravely served their country. I was pleased to see that Americans also lay wreaths in memory of their local veterans. I learned a new appreciation for the US and Americans themselves by seeing how reverently and respectfully they remembered.
|Notice Grenada. More info on that war here|
I remembered today. This is not my land nor these my veterans but their fight has given me the freedom to honour them. And so I do today.
And to you current service people, thank you. You are not forgotten.