Sunday, November 11, 2007

We remember


It's easy to forget. Every year, fewer and fewer old men in perfectly turned-out uniforms brave the cold, gray weather that seems to descend on the cenotaph. Those that do make it are often enfeebled by age, by the ravages of time that never had a chance to wrap itself around comrades who never made it home.

They are the last witnesses of an event that shaped our modern world, of a turning point in history that could have just as easily landed us into the 20th century equivalent of the dark ages. They are ordinary folks who stepped forward to do the extraordinary, then came back home and built ordinary lives despite all they had been through.

Soon, we will lose this tenuous, precious connection to history. And remembrance will be all we have. History, so often forgotten in the rush to advance society, holds the lessons we need to better shape whatever awaits us. We often forget that a solid building starts with a foundation. If we forget what's underneath, we may as well be homeless.

Thank you seems inadequate, yet it is all we can offer these fading icons of our past, present and, one hopes, our future.

Your turn: We remember because...?

One last thing: Caption This will be posted tomorrow. I'm not feeling particularly frivolous today.

12 comments:

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Each year, when I was a child, there would be some kind of parade in the town I grew up in..I was always moved by seeingVeterans..(It was called Veterans Day here in the states, back then)...And because I am not exactlly young..(LOL), there were quite a few WW I Vets Marching and even some from an earlier war---I think, the Spanish Amercan War...Aged, to be sure. I first began going to this parade which was right up the street from where we lived, before WW II began...after, there were lots of WW II Vets....Now, in 2007, they are the few and those that are alive areelderly like the Spanish American War Vets were waay back when....I don't thibk I ever went to that Parade and The Memorial Day Parade without being very moved by those who fought to keep our country free.

On another note: Long time no see, Carmi. Have I done something to offend you? I hope not. But if I have, I apologize, with all my heart.
Hope ALL is well with you and yours. And I hope you are having a lovely weekend.

Joy T. said...

I came over from Michele's but because I also knew you would be writing something on this day and I knew it would be put into words I couldn't. I will remember.

craziequeen said...

We remember because......
if we forget we lose our identity that those men and women fought so bravely for.

The old men and women grow less in numbers, but the young go from strength to strength - either accompanying their elderly relatives or marching in their own right as cadets, scouts, guides, boys brigade etc.

We must never forget the stories.

I commend to you the poetry of Wilfrid Owen and Siegfried Sassoon.

cq

gautami tripathy said...

Here too we have Martyr's day on 30th January when we remember all those who dies fighting for the independence of our country.

We need to remember as that keeps us connected to our past, our roots and sacrifices.

Michele sent me here after so long. Glad she did miss me out entirely!

ribbiticus said...

we remember because it is the only way to express gratitude for all the sacrifices made for love of country. the next generation should also know to whom they owe whatever freedom they have right now.

Beverly said...

We must never forget the sacrifices of those men and women. Some would have it so, though.

My father volunteered for service in WWII, but he was 4-F. I believe he was blind in one eye. However, he did his part here, as did many others. Part of his job working in the lumber mill, was to guard the war prisoners who were brought here to the States to work.

I remember so well the day the war was over. I was three, but I can remember the horns honking in the streets of our little town, and people crying, "It's over. The war is over."

moon said...

We remember because WE NEED TO NEVER FORGET...We owe everything we know ..in our lives full of freedom... to the veterans...

Square1 said...

Because some of them were and are our family, our friends, or friends of friends.

I'm glad Michele sent me today.

craziequeen said...

My darling man, so thoughtful....

I saw your comment about route 401 and thought you might like to see this... the town my parents used to live in..

"Coffins coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan have passed through Wootton Bassett on their way to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

To mark the passing through, traffic is stopped and people line the streets to pay their respects.
The tributes began in April when the then Mayor, Cllr Percy Miles, who is a Legion member, gathered with fellow members to greet the procession.
Now every time a soldier is due to come through, the town council contacts Branch Secretary Anne Bevis, who arranges for members to gather at the town’s war memorial."

cq

Awareness said...

I attended the service here in Fredericton this morning with a friend who has been both to Bosnia and Afghanistan. Because Fredericton is located right beside CFB Gagetown, the military parade is very impressive. Thousands flocked to the Cenotaph and Queen Street to watch and to pay their respects. The elderly vets are buoyed in numbers by their younger counterparts. We clapped as they marched by.......their numbers were strong. There's a sense of brotherhood connecting the generations.

It is a very special day here. Much more sombre than last year in remembrance of the local soldiers who were killed this year in Kandahar.

Why remember? Out of respect for all they have done to allow us the blessings of living in such a beautiful and free country as Canada. We should never take that for granted.

Thumper said...

I remember because every day is a gift from those men and women who went bravely into battles I wouldn't have the nerve to face. My father, my father-in-law...they went willingly. They believed in freedom and that sometimes blood must be spilled to protect it.

Here via Michele's tonight...I knew you'd have am awesome post up.

David said...

thank you for not being frivolous