Today is my first Remembrance Day since retirement. It is an odd feeling as for the past two decades I would right now be shining shoes, ironing shirts, and pinning on accoutrements.
This year however, will be different as the effort requires much less preparation. I feel more like a spectator than a participant. Regardless, it remains important and I will be present at a ceremony, with my medals on. Given the new Canadian Armed Forces’ beard policy I won’t be the only one sporting whiskers this year; although I am likely outside of regulation.
This year is significant as it marks the 100th year since the end of World War 1, and the moment which this day of remembrance marks. Remembrance Day observes the end of formal hostilities at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Over the years I have seen my kids’ schools do a phenomenal job of observing and exposing our children to this day of remembrance. As well, every little town in Canada has a cenotaph or memorial, and each will likely host a parade.
The World Wars are far behind us now. Wars continue though, and the impact and horror of these Total War events must be recalled to be avoided.
I am no longer in uniform. I am now working to understand my role now as a veteran. The most obvious function would be to just participate. This I will do.
In Manotick, the 2958 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps has announced that they will be conducting an overnight vigil at the village cenotaph. Starting 10 November, these cadets will take shifts through the night. Remembrance Day is always an emotional day for me; this vigil has stirred that emotion earlier than usual. A noble effort that I salute, and will be in attendance to observe as it concludes.
I implore any reading this, on this appropriately cold November day, to remember.
I realize that there are various names given this day of remembrance depending on which country you might be reading from. So whether you are observing Remembrance Day, Veterans Day or perhaps Armistice Day, I wish you all a safe and comfortable day of reflection.
I will leave you with this link to that great poem associated with this day, and some information about it …