The local Royal Canadian Legion held its annual Remembrance Day Ceremony this morning. It was a bitter day weather wise, but there was still a fairly strong showing of people for the service. Living in one of the larger cities in Ontario (or Canada for that matter) I would have liked to have seen more, but it was still enough people to crowd the area that memorial stands in.
I managed to take some time to “people watch” as I moved about helping to organize the Scouting youth to their allotted spots. There was a variety of people present, Scouting youth to local organizations to Military Cadets (we have Air, Army, and Navy) to veterans and the general public. I was stuck by two thoughts as I stood there.
First, as I watched the veterans was the phrase “there but by the grace of God goes I”. My generation has been fortunate to not have the darkness of war hang over it. I know that there are still many brave women and men my age that have answered the call, but there hasn’t been a conflict the scale of that like the First or Second World Wars and for this I’m truly grateful.
The second was that many of the young faces wearing the different types of uniforms were not all that much different from those that marched off to war so many years ago never to return. We enjoy so many freedoms because of those once young faces. But how do we even start to repay that debt? Simple, by remembering.
I my life time I have watched the last of the World War 1 soldiers die as well as seen the ever diminishing numbers of World War 2 veterans. Very slowly these wars are passing from living memories. It is hard for a child to understand something so long ago without being able to speak to someone who has lived it. Even if that person didn’t actually fight they can pass on what it was like. My grade 4 teacher would tell us about sheltering in the London tube during the Blitz.
So it falls to us to make sure that these brave souls and their stories are not forgotten. Think of it as our rally cry. Never forget! As long as we do that, as long as we remember, the sacrifices made for us will serve as a warning of what might be should we forget those lessons.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Please remember to pause at 11 am tomorrow morning.
Until next time…
Be safe, be prepared, and keep Scouting!