National War Memorial, Ottawa Canada
I have met many Canadian war veterans in my work as they are an aging group of people, their numbers thinning as we move a half century and more past the big wars we memorialize today. Many of them suffered physical and emotional ailments related to the war and even if they are difficult or unpleasant patients, I respect their contribution to the peace we enjoy here today. One of our patients dressed in full uniform this week and went to a special luncheon where he was to recite a poem. He wore his medals with pride and we were proud of him too.
Overnight Vigil November 10-11, 2009
I am working today and cannot attend the outdoor Remembrance Day parade and service at 11:00 AM. So last night The Becka and I went to our city's cenotaph for a while and watched the young cadets who stood vigil through the entire night. Night time must have had a special horror in times of war, the hours long, the air cold and the enemy unseen. I took night pictures of our national war memorial in Ottawa earlier this year with the same thoughts in mind.
The darkness of war continues to plague our world and conflicts claim the lives of young men and women who have dedicated themselves to serve and protect our nation. Today we remember and honour their sacrifice.
The Royal Canadian Legion
sponsors an art and poetry contest each year for students across the country and encourages them to reflect on Remembrance Day and its meaning to them. This poem was a winner in 2005.Imagine
I stare at my feet in a moment of silence
And strain to cry for those who were lost.
Yet no tears come, and I struggle to understand
Why I do not cry like the veteran next to me.
I try to imagine the young men of our country
Leaving home to fight the unknown.
I try to envision families broken apart
By the terror that is war.
I try to picture someone close to me
Having to kill.
I try to imagine the crushing pain
When a loved one does not return home.
Soon the reveille sounds and I awake from
I am moved but have shed no tears.
I look to the veteran next to me and see the
sorrow in his eyes.
He gives me a teary smile and takes my hand.
Only then do I realize that he has seen
And fought so I could only imagine them.Nicole Jowett, 2005
Winnipeg – Charleswood Junior High