Today is Remembrance day in Canada.
Around the world, there will be people standing in snow, or rain, gazing at wreaths laid in front of cenotaphs, and thanking veterans for their sacrifice.
It’s a moment of silence, a solemn ceremony, marching men, and women, sombre trumpets playing the Last Post. Dark uniforms, some of them brilliant with medals, worn by very aged vets sitting in wheelchairs.
What connection does the ordinary person have to those veterans, and how do we relate to what they gave up in order for us to have freedom. What does that mean to sacrifice? To lose someone you loved to war? To be the one lost?
I know that when I was in high school they tried to hammer it into our heads, with graphic visually shocking photos, loud booming music, and stunningly boring speeches. It didn’t connect. How could it, it simply overwhelmed most of us, and underwhelmed those that wouldn’t listen anyways.
How could I understand, sitting in my warm classroom, living my peaceful life, no regrets other then what my hair looked like that day…
Years later I read stories, and met in person some of those who fought, they took the time to tell us their stories, and it all made sense.
I needed to hear from the survivors of the war in person. I needed to see those faded black and white photos of long lost relatives. To hear how brothers were simply gone, never to be heard or seen again. How sisters and mothers cried when there was a knock on the door, knowing in their hearts what it meant.
How Fathers wept in silence, stoic even in their grief.
That is what makes it real, and that is why I remember.
And I thank them for their sacrifice, because although I was not there at the time, I have so benefited from what they gave for us.
Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams