When I set out to write this post, I did so telling myself that I was not to let my personal feelings on war and battle and combat to become the focus. Remembrance Day is for remembering. It is for love. It is for pride and country and and for everyone who has ever lived in freedom, in tyranny, in ignorance and in bliss. Today is a day for tears, those shed and withheld.
I am so proud. Watching the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa from the comfort of my couch, wrapped in my comforter, there are so many emotions coursing through me. The most overwhelming one is pride. I am so proud of the men and women who choose the possibility of sacrifice of self to be ready to fight – just in case.
It warms me when I see the faces of Canada’s veterans, and their faces shine with so much raw emotion I will never be able to comprehend. But today, somehow, I’m there with them. Our veterans are so beautiful, some so composed, serene and calm, some with tears in their eyes. My heart breaks at the sight of every quivering lip, staunchly repressed, only to quiver again.
I am crying with you. My lips are quivering, too. I’m with you. The 30,000 Canadians standing around the War Memorial in Ottawa are with you. The millions of Canadians watching this are with you. We are with you. We’re with our Armed Forces here in Canada. We’re with you abroad. And we are so proud. I could never make the choice that you have, to put the needs to the many before the needs of the few, to act from a place a sheer selflessness. Of counting other’s freedom so important that you are willing to put your life, your health at risk. Today, though I am not in your place, I am with you.
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,
In 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.