Posted by: Daisy | November 11, 2009

November 11, 2009

Today just before 11am, I was parking my car.  I was outside one of those big box stores because I was in need of stuff.  I saw the clock, and heard the radio telling me it was fast approaching 11am.  I knew it wasn’t in me to stop my shopping cart mid-way in the store at 11, so instead, I decided to sit in my car.

It felt surreal as I sat listening to the radio as I watched people outside going about their business.  When the radio station began to play the bugles, I remembered one time in the late 1980’s when one of my teachers told us his personal story of the war including his family’s involvement.  It was deeply moving, touching, and it was the first (and last) time I had ever seen a teacher cry in front of a class.

Stranger still, I sat in my car during the minutes of silence.  For brief moments, I wanted to open my car door and yell at the folks still parking, packing and unpacking their cars to remind them to take a moment, yet I didn’t think my act of yelling would be appropriate.  Instead, I closed my eyes, and I thought about how lucky we are.

The radio jolted me back into the present, and I took my keys out of the ignition.  I then climbed out of the car and smiled as I thought it was a strange ritual to have turned on the radio, to hear silence when I could have easily just left the radio off.  Yet, the experience wouldn’t have been the same.

Below is a poem written by a Canadian that I will always associate with Remembrance Day.

– Daisy

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

— Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 – 1918)

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Responses

  1. I read this very poem to my literature classes today.

    I’ve always liked it – Daisy

  2. We lived in Belgium for a while as kids and one day visited one of the many war memorials. It was a sad, grey day, and I vividly remember walking through a large white archway at the top of a rise and seeing below me a vaste field of green with what must have been thousands of rows of crosses, many of them without names.

    There is no glory in war, and it is even sadder when the cause has nothing to do with doing what is right, just politics and greed.

    I have never seen in real life the crosses, though I’ve seen photos, and I know photos don’t do the experience justice. Many terrible things happen to good people for the wrong reasons – we can’t change what happened years ago, or even moments ago – we can only change what we say/do right now. – Daisy


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