Sunday, 11 November 2012

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day – a time for reflection and giving thanks to those men and women who have fought (or continue to fight) to keep our country free and at peace.

I have always stopped to pay my respects on this important day and now am passing that onto my daughters. I have found it difficult to explain the importance of this day in terms that make sense to them. It seems that this year CP has finally “got it”. I showed the girls photos of relatives that served in the military and explained that they served in World War II and that my grandpa’s brother was killed in Normandy when he was 24 years old. It was like a light suddenly went off for CP and she stated how sad that was. I told her that this is why when I watch Remembrance Day ceremonies or am at them that I get teary-eyed. I find it heartbreaking to think what the parents and family of the soldiers killed in duty must have gone through.

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Ralph Ernest Spencer
December 10, 1920 - June 6, 1944
Royal Winnipeg Rifles
Ralph was killed June 6, 1944 on the beaches of Normandy.
He is buried in the Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War cemetery in France.

Earlier this year I went to see Eva Olsson, a Holocaust survivor, speak. This is truly an amazing woman and I am so glad to have heard her speak. I honestly believe that everyone should listen to her. I have read many books about survivors of the Holocaust and women who live in the Middle East and it just makes me extremely grateful to live in Canada and to be who I am.

We remember peace. Simple. Never forget that so many people fought for our freedom and for the freedom of individuals in other countries. Do not let millions of deaths be for not. We must let our children know that we are fortunate and to be thankful for what they have. Remembrance Day ceremonies need to continue and to be taken seriously in schools and in the retail sector. This day is not a “holiday” to hit the shopping centre. Take time to give thanks.

Our local library set up a wonderful Remembrance Day display with photos and write-ups on local folks who have served in the military. I think it was a great idea to include photos so that children and adults alike can put a face to the name and remember that these were actual people with families and friends.

I found a piece of artwork for Remembrance Day that we used for school. The girls did one each and then NP made one for the library to add to their display.

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CP painted a picture of the world and surrounded it with painted poppies. A simple statement “Thank You” written on it. We hung it on the gate at our local cenotaph. We didn’t participate in a traditional ceremony this year, but chose to go to the cenotaph and will watch the Remembrance Day ceremony from Ottawa and have our moment of silence.

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“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

~ Wendy ~

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