Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Remembrance Day

  A Day Set Aside To Honour Sacrifice

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we pause in memory  of the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives in military service. It marks the armistice to end the First World War, which came into effect at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, a year earlier.

Two minutes before the armistice went into effect, at 10:58 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918, Pte. George Lawrence Price was killed by a bullet. Price would become the final Commonwealth soldier and the last of more than 66,000 Canadians; to be killed in the First World War.

Pte. George Lawrence Price

Veteran Bob Kennedy, Army Cadet Tristen Garnhum
Remembrance Day Parade

TROOPER KARINE BLAIS, killed in action, Afghanistan, Aug 13, 2009
During the Battle of Ypres in 1915, Canadian Lt.-Col. John McCrae was inspired to write the poem In Flanders Fields on sighting the poppies growing beside a grave of a close friend who had died in battle. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of  Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilt in the war.

Lt. - Col. John McCrae

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

"Soldiers, what I have to offer you is fatigue, danger, struggle and death; the chill of the cold night in the free air, and heat under the burning sun; no lodgings, no munitions, no provisions, but forced marches, dangerous watchposts and the continual struggle with the bayonet against batteries - those who love their country and their freedoms may follow me " - Garibaldi to his Soldiers