Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rememberance Day

This will be a two part entry. The first part will cover the traditional Remembrance Day ideas, the second half will be a little different.

I'm young, (or so I tell myself despite the sore joints, bad back, and a hip that seems to give me grief). I've managed to be insulated from the horrors of war, hunger, totalitarianism... and I am grateful.
I am grateful to God for where I live and the freedoms I all too often take for granted. I did nothing to deserve to be born here, it is only by his grace...
I am humbled by the memory of those brave young (sometimes foolish) men (boys) who volunteered to head overseas to help "The Queen". Germany had invaded Czechoslovakia and initiated a "Blitzkrieg" against Poland after some diplomatic problems. Poland and England had a treaty, instantly involving Britain in the war. Canada sent troops. It's important to remember that the U.S. didn't come into the European theater until they couldn't resist any longer. (I think the war in Europe and north Africa had gone on for 2 years before the Americans were dragged in as a result of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour) While there are always memories and photos of the liberation by U.S. troops in Holland, France, Germany, they had to walk over the bodies of the Canadians who had been there from the beginning to be the heroes.
The pride that I have no right to feel, is very strong as it relates to the sacrifice made by this rather large country with a very small population. "We" went because it was "right" to go. There was injustice a long way from home, and it had to be stopped.
We have young men and women doing that very thing now, but "we" don't seem to get it. Our country decides to get involved in Afghanistan yet the voices crying out against our troops are loud and given attention by the media.
My son lost a friend. I can't imagine the loss of his parents. Last weekend, the FreeP's front page carried the story and pictures. I start to tear up at the very notion of loosing one of my children and in return, having a lake named after them. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/more-lakes-named-after-fallen-soldiers-104327674.html
Why? Why did he go? Why volunteer? He started as my own son did, in Air Cadets. That's where they met. It was a good program, but my son didn't like the way they were treated. Like his old man, he's too strong an independent thinker to enjoy that sort of structure. His friend obviously fit in better, and went on to join the Forces. He, like so many countless others before him, gave his life in the service of his country, and NO ONE should EVER question the worth of that.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

I make no excuses for the source. I consider the statement true, and as such, I say "Thank you", holding back tears, because I (at least) understand, that I do not understand the loss... nor do I aspire to.

Part II

Today is an anniversary of sorts. It's the day I lost my best friend to cancer. He was pretty well known throughout the community. More people knew of him and his work than not. He worked tirelessly for the community he served. In His divine providence, my friends "Boss" decided that his work here was done. Clearly, after looking around our community, THE work isn't done, only my friends portion was completed.
I miss him. I think about him often. I can only hope...
When I consider "measuring a life", I consider the impact that life had on others. That doesn't mean that you have to have a large footprint, like my friend had... just a deep one. His was a big footprint, with a lot of depth. He made an impact. I can only aspire to impact others as deeply.

Harry. You are missed.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this posting. For all of us who speak our minds, fight what we perceive to be injustice, we can do so without worry of a gun at our heads or being arrested for daring to criticize the establishment.

    We can do so without worrying about a tank running us over. For all of this, we have the brave men and women who don the uniform of our Services, Military and Police as well. For those who lay down their lives freely so that we in this wonderful Country are able to live our way of life without that burden and worry.

    To those who give so much so that we in this country may live in peace and freedom THANK YOU FOR GIVING OF YOURSELVES.

    May God bless you and keep you in the palm of His hand. (an excerpt from an Old Irish Blessing)

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