Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remember...

5 comments:

Marebabe said...

Thanks for that! Veterans Day is (seriously, no foolin') my favorite holiday. I happen to be a US Army veteran, Vietnam era, and I love Veterans Day for its low-keyness. There's no holiday stress associated with Veterans Day! No shopping or to-do lists, no travel, no big dinner, none of that. I celebrate by saying "Happy Veterans Day" to a friend who was also in the military, we salute and smile, and that's it. I love it.

Nikki, do Canadians also celebrate Veterans Day today, or were you just being kind and thoughtful to us Americans? Just curious.

Nikki Stafford said...

Wow, Marebabe, good for you! That's amazing.

In Canada it's called Remembrance Day, and it's a pretty big deal (poppies come out at the end of October and people generally continue wearing them for a week or so afterward). There are ceremonies at cenotaphs throughout the country, and a big televised one at the Parliament Buildings at our nation's capital, Ottawa. This year Prince Charles and Camilla were in the country for it, and laid a wreath on the memorial statue. So yes, it's definitely an important day. It's not a holiday here, sadly (unless you work for the government) but I think it's important that kids remember. My 5-year-old daughter came home yesterday and solemnly told me that Remembrance Day was an important day because we remember "all of the people who fought in wars and made our country the great nation it is." Of course, the words were probably memorized from her teacher telling her that, but she'd sensed the meaning behind them and saw the day as a very important one that we should always remember, and for that I was incredibly proud of her. :)

Fred said...

@marebabe: America's Veterans Day is celebrated as Rememberance Day in Commonwealth countires like Canada, its origins found in the Armistice of World War I (November 11, at 11 am). It has since expanded to commemerate the fallen of other wars, notably the Second World War, and with recent wars, Korea, and Afghanistan, as well as service by soldiers in other locations.

The symbol of the poppy comes from John McCrae's poem, written after having buried his friend in an unmarked grave. McCrae himself died before the end of the war, but his poem survived as a symbol of the cost. (Incidentally, I have been told the poppy did not grow well in Flanders Fields, due to the soil conditions. With rubble from the war, it introduced lime, which allowed a profusion of poppies. Poppies were also noticed as blooming during the Napoleonic battles).

Marebabe said...

@Nikki and Fred: Thanks so much to both of you! I learned a lot from reading both of your comments (I now know what a cenotaph is - I looked it up!) and my heart was warmed in the process. *extra BIG smile* The heart-warming occurred by simply being acknowledged. It's like every year on my birthday or wedding anniversary: All I really want is to be wished a Happy Day. So you've helped make my day. Thanks whole heapy gobs!

sahm3k said...

Thank you for posting that! Too many people here in the States are forgetting the symbolism behind the Poppies. This year, I saw no aged Vet handing them out at my local grocery store. But thankfully, people, for the most part, still seem to remember and honor what today represents. Those that don't...well, I feel bad for them. Not only do my thanks go to the military of the States, but to Canada - my Grandma was Canadian (relocated near Massena, NY from outside Ottawa). So, I consider myself of Canadian heritage. Thank you, for your country's sacrifices.

Shawn - proud wife of an Army National Guardsman and Air Force daughter.