Thursday, November 11, 2010
I'd gotten to thinking about this day we call Remembrance Day, for which we wear a red poppy to symbolize the occasion. There will be services at the cenotaphs this morning and, depending on how they are feeling, I want to take the boys. Even if we only stay for a short time and stand at the back so we can leave with them. If we can't go (it might rain and they are sick still) then we'll watch a little bit on tv and I'll tell my sons why this day is important. It's a tough thing to explain to a small child, wanting to keep them innocent yet start that glimmer of understanding.
It suddenly occured to me while driving home last night, that it's a very different kind of day from what I'd thought. For me, it's always been about the end of Great War, the war to end all wars (WWI) and it then embraced those who fell in WWII and then onward. But in my mind, it was always about the veterans - the old men I saw at the cenotaphs while I watched on TV. As the years pass, their ranks become smaller and I wondered what will happen when they are gone.
Last night I realized that no matter what our opinions on the world today - this day is about young men and women, too. That families with babies and small children will be there to remember their loved ones. That young men and women will be there to remember their comrades in arms, their best friends, their brothers and sisters. It's not just about old men, is it? It's about so much more. I am sad whenever I see the name of another who has become a casualty of war, and it was more real when I saw the young man from my town in our paper. I didn't know him, but I know a family here grieves again today and I ache for them.
So today, I have a new appreciation of what this day means. So to all that serve their country - no matter where you're needed - you are there and I am thankful. And I will remember. And I'll be sure that my small children will remember, too.