Thursday, November 09, 2006

Saturday Is Remembrance Day
(click on the photo and zoom in to read what the card has to say)

On the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month. We all stand before the local Cenetaff to honour our fallen soldiers with 2 minutes of silence.

My ideals have changed. I find myself no longer thinking of my Grandfather who was killed in a bomber when my Dad was 18months old. Now my thoughts are for my Husband and Son. I don't worry that they may choose to go to Afghanistan, I don't worry about them dying. I don't even worry at all. But I do have this prioritization of my respect that must be honoured.

I think that my thoughts on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month should be for the men who could choose anything else to do to fill their free time, and they choose to be reservists. If you ask a reservist why they do it, they will all tell you it is a type of calling they must fulfill. I honour them for that.

So, on the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month I will be giving thanks to the men of my family who made a conscious choice when they could do anything else, because it is necessary.

This pin above.....Alex got it in his last Rations Box. He gave it to me to give his Grandfather for Remembrance Day.
So, on the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month I will stand beside my Father, the Son who never got to see his Father, and I will give him this pin. From my Son, to his Grandfather, while we watch my Husband in his uniform honour his compatriots.
-2 minutes of silence-
That is my Remembrance Day.

Please enjoy "A Pittance Of Time" by my buddy Terry Kelly:

A few yrs back Terry was in a drug store on Remembrance Day. There was a man bullying the cashier to serve him as she observed the 2 minutes of silence. His small child had to tug at his coat to draw his attention to the time.
Terry Decided then and there that he would create a song so no one would ever forget again.


This is a past piece I wrote May 9, 2006


Four years ago, if someone was to state that Lynn would be writing a pro war piece, I would have tore their ears off and planted them up their nose.
You see I think of myself as the lioness protecting her Pride when I am on the defensive.
A little too Type A personality for most to handle.

“ I’s gots my principles and I will fight for them!”

I have learned in my older age that principles are dynamic.
(Oh dynamic is one of my buzzwords if you haven’t figured that out yet. I love it and hate the word paradigm) Principles must change for we must learn.

It seems that I learn more at this age than I did when I was younger. Or, maybe I just ignore less as I get older.

This past Sunday was Carl’s graduation from Basic Military Training.
Oh so what? People will ask. Many others have done that!

I look them directly in the eye and say, “Yeah, but almost none does it in his 49th year.”

It became apparent to me that Carl was interested in the Canadian Military Reserves when my Son finished his own BMQ.
I have been excited for both of them since they each decided that the Reserves are for them.

I, myself don’t like war, and I really had to look at idea of them being in the military with very clear eyes. I was worried that I would not be able to get past the fog of my own beliefs to see what attraction the Reserves meant to my Husband and Son.

I watched them both…..My nerdy, superfluous intellectual, introverted, digitized thinkers. And I needed to understand what part of them wanted this so bad.
I know now that it is the phrase personal challenge that best describes the honey that attracts the bee to the uniform.

These two men have always been able to go into their mind and accomplish their day to day routine. A life of statistics and numbers and pattern and code.
Why oh why would going out on weekends and being brutalised and demoralised and dirty and smelly and hurting in pain and worried and frustrated be something they longed for?

The simple answer, because they can.
It is the greatest accomplishment ever for the intellectual introvert to go deep into the Man and draw out the Beast.
You only make it through Basic Training if you are successful drawing out the Beast when it is necessary.

And with the Beast come the dreams once more.
A revitalisation of the Man.

Here is a salute to The Beasts.

I finally know where their minds are at.
It is easy for me to raise up my beast. It is hard for them.

But know this:
Put me in the place where my beast is taken away and then I have to find it again…. And I would never make it.

It is through them I began to understand the phrase that becomes key to every family when they lose a loved one fighting a war. “They died doing what they believed in and what they loved to do.”
It is not just about finding the Beast.
It is about using the Beast to make a difference.
A measured display of how much they believe in BEING, and being Canadian.

Strong, Proud
There and Helping
Moving into the crevasses hidden within the front lines
Waiting to aid.
Aiding to help.

Helping because that is what Canadians do.

I know that not all of our friends and family are happy about the green Alex and Carl wear.
Everyone has their own reasons for the choices they make.

I have learned that Canada’s presence in war is necessary.
Many regular people would never survive without the Canadians.
Just because others choose the first steps into war, it doesn’t mean Canada can choose to turn their head away from the humans in need.
Remember the word HUMANITY?
A Country that works so hard for balance and equality for its people; Canada has to allow that equality to touch all nations in need.

I empathise with those who have first hand experiences and repercussions of a nation at war.
I do know the word CONFLICT too.

I can tell you I am very proud of my Men.
They showed me a path around conflict that I never knew.
I realise that each of those men in uniform represent us.
In Canada they make an informed choice, and are drawn from a very tiny pool of volunteers.
The Reservists join first to protect Canadians at home, and second to protect the weak abroad.
A completely unselfish act.

Not so for some countries for which conscription, of each teen, is dangling the Education carrot on a stick over them for control. An idea of eligible means just an age number and not a qualification of understanding. And mothers are stripped of their children, and passives are forced into an engagement with a gun so the Army can show numbers because losses are too great.

To my friends in Germany I will send you this hug of understanding:

When you see the uniform worn with pride
It creates your hurt that aches inside
I know that collective with emotion, not pride
You bend your heads low in disgust

I understand that you need your life without guns.

And I respect that you vow that to repeat the past just won’t do.
I know you want us to learn a lesson from yesterday’s past and not create today’s pain

I hear your message clear and loud
I know of fascism you are not proud.

I hope that now in my contemporary mind
I can do you justice too.

I beg your understanding to hear what I have learned

I know that war is not just

And I don’t want suffering when it seems such a must

I see troops fight and I see children run
I am not blind to these acts

…..But I have come to understand that the world is not well run

And someone has to make peace.

Once the peace keeper and now a peace maker
The line is so blurred at times

Canada comes in to aid and to protect
…..Still with weapons upon their shoulder
Soldiers One, Two, Three…

They see ills and travesty that no human should experience
They give their lives to aid

And the question still
Who dares create war, who dares!?

As the dead are recited at role call
No man wants to listen, but listen they must

The world’s rules are not equal
And as long as they are not

The PeaceKeeper will become The PeaceMaker.


RheLynn said...

What a beautiful post, and I never knew of this observance before now.

charles ravndal said...

Beautiful post indeed and I say they look so snappy on the pics

RennyBA said...

This is really a readable post Lynn and with good pics to document your point of view too - thanks for sharing!
Thanks also for your comments on my blog - your point of views and information are very appreciated. Good to know your life is back to normalizing too!
Thanks also for your birthday greetings - so sweet of you:-)
Btw: You was out of my blogroll for a while, sorry! Your back in now my friend!

Teena said...

As a Maritimer, I've seen Terry Kelly many times. Great singer!

BTW, our condos are in Liberty Village, in the Dufferin/King area.

Lynn said...

Hey Teena,

I didn't even know those were there.
Really changes the whole area there then.
I noticed the big building going in at lakeshore and Bathurst by the armouries too!
Some of my University buddies lived near Straughn and King. It is amazing how that area and right into Parkdale is getting such a revitalization!
I am so glad. I was worried for a while that Toronto would lose its inner population. People have made great choices with condos and lofts and brownstones to awaken the inner city!
You guys were really close to the Crowbar that night! Wow!
I will be sure to let you know if we are celebrating with the band in your area!

Anonymous said...

Have a listen to the Remembrance podcast on iTunes or on the Royal British Legion blog. It's a good way to remember.

Mother of Invention said...

Nice post, Lynn. Thank your son and husband for me.
Did you write the poem to your german friends? Or where did you get it? Such a great tribute.

Please read my Nov. 11th post I did on my dad, who wrote the poem on the post. It is from a different perspective than most, someting like thank the people who fought and lived.

You believe in eerie, strangely-connected things, so you might have insights like mine about why the picture of his flight crew came out blank!

Mother of Invention said...

I love the song! Nice East Coast flavour too!