This year's celebration focuses on the original armistice which ended World War War One, November 11th, 1918. It was seen then, a full one hundred years distant from today... as "the end of a war to end all wars." All who attended this year's service here have lived through another World War with its catastrophic horrors and inhumanities committed by all nations.
As well, even the youngest attending this service today have borne witness and felt the impact of loss of family members and neighbours. This is so... even in this very small River paradise... so very remote from the sadistic savagery committed by me just like ourselves upon innocents.
If anger and inhumanity still dwelt in the minds of veterans or families in attendance here... I did not sense it. What I did feel was the obvious genuine sense of grief, loss and deep sadness that I read on all faces around me. It seems incredulous and unthinkable to me that any one of us could venture forth to take up arms ever again.
And yet, I witnessed with my very own eyes young men carrying automatic weapons... more fierce even than the weaponry that young men were given to bear in previous conflict(s). I watched... and heard applause as these young men and women "cadets" barely in their teens paraded proudly past us. They were already being groomed to assume their role as "cannon fodder"... sacrificial lambs .
These were the sons and daughters of the past for whom we all grieve here. What happened to those Words of Remembrance that we all rehearsed? The meaning of those words seem so shallow to me today:
"At the going down of the sun EACH day... we will remember them."
And on the very heels of these same words come another mouthed and hollow grouping...
"Lest we forget."
For many years I brought my classes here to stand with me... to learn by watching what that gift was to me. The Poem Flanders Field was read on this Remembrance Day by Michael Trussell, What a gift it was to me to know that we had shared that very same poem in my Grade Eight Class so many years ago... when we were both younger.
Here we are some fifty years later... Remembering... and sharing that very Peace that our fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles and neighbours had laid their lives down for. I guess that there remains Hope... through Faith
The torch be yours to hold it high..
If ye break faith with us who died,
We shall not sleep
Though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
Captain Matthew Dawe - killed on July 7th, 2007 while serving with the Princess Patricia Light Infantry in Afghanistan
Last Post - Gone now is my dear Friend and Mentor Jack Shepherd, Korean War Veteran to join comrades-in-arms
"Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"
My small painting gifted to the wife and son of Matt Dawe
on behalf of our Sherman Family