Tuesday, November 11, 2008

They shall not grow old as we who are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

In the poem In Flanders Fields, we are given the charge to hold high the torch, lest those who gave their lives have died for naught. This year I watched the Remembrance Ceremonies in Ottawa on TV. They began a new tradition - the passing of torch of Remembrance. It began with 108 year old John Babcock, the last remaining Canadian veteran of World War I passing a torch to first a World War II veteran, to a Korean War vet, to a peacekeeper, and finally to a modern day veteran from Afghanistan.

Something about that really struck me. Mr Babcock. He is the last. remaining. veteran. of World War I. After he's gone, after the World War II vets are gone, then what? The importance of remembrance struck me today. Very soon e will not have those faces at our cenotaphs. Those wrinkled faces, once strong, still brave men and women who put our country, our freedom, our way of life above their fear, above their own lives. How often to I forget to be thankful for the place I live, the freedom I have. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't been to a Remembrance ceremony for a number of years. I do remember - assemblies, and I usually watch a ceremony on TV, but what? I can't be bothered to get in my car and go stand for an hour in honour of these?

And so I watched the torch of remembrance being passed. A small symbol, yes, but significant. May that torch never extinguish.

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