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IMG_00000337“They shall not die while memory fulfils its task of gratitude.”

On November 11, 2013 I attended a Remembrance Day Ceremony. Below are my recollections.


Joan Crockatt, MP – Calgary Centre says,

“You have stood on guard for us, so now we stand on guard for you.”

It’s -11c and the Padre thanks us for coming. He knows it’s cold but it is nothing compared to what those who have served our country have endured.

We are here to honour them.

We are here to honour our grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, uncles, mothers, aunts, sons and daughters – and for many of us – total strangers who sacrificed that we may enjoy our freedoms.

He reminds us of the promise of peace found in Isaiah 2:

“…He will judge between the nations
and arbitrate for many peoples.
Then they will hammer their swords into plow-blades
and their spears into pruning-knives;
nations will not raise swords at each other,
and they will no longer learn war.” 

He reads the poem penned by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in 1915.

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.

There are hundreds present today in Calgary’s Memorial Park.

And save for the odd crying child, all are silent and observing the laying of the wreaths  ceremony.

Soldiers stand at attention as still as statues. One soldier wipes away tears that flow continuously in spite of his attempts to stop them.


I witnessed all this reverently, grateful for their service, proud to be Canadian.