11/11/2012 Remembrance Day

Attended a good Remembrance Day ceremony today at our local high school The auditorium was full; lots of veterans, cadets and scouts, several mounties in red serge, a good slide show and meaningful words. The Sgt. at Arms had us pay special appreciation this year to Afghanistan veterans of which there was a surprising number. It has been part of my mission this year to acknowledge the younger veterans and remind my fellow citizens that they are all around us.

I was impressed with the numbers of young people who attended this year. Also the cadets were great; very well drilled.

Left to right – Afghanistan veteran, WWII, a Lion’s Club volunteer, Peacekeeper -Yugoslavia veteran

Someone this morning asked me what I thought about the “white poppy.” I told them I thought it was a bad idea on Remembrance Day for sure, even though I get the intention behind it. I don’t necessarily disagree with that. The problem is, and I’m thinking especially of WWII veterans here, for many of them, their experience in WWII has defined their entire lives. The red poppy also is a defining symbol for most of them, worn in devoted remembrance of friends and loved ones lost. We cannot imagine what they saw, did and lived through. No matter the intention of the white poppy, it is perceived as a hurtful affront to them, and all they suffered and lost. I would say it is a legitimate symbol, but not to wear it on Remembrance Day. That is not the time or place for it. That’s my opinion.

McCrae funeral photo from the Bonfire book. Notice at Bonfire’s head; General Currie 6’5″ and McCrae’s best friend, General Morrison, 5’6″

Let us be worthy of them.

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