Friday, November 7, 2014

"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"
Exerpt from John McCrae's "In Flanders Fields"
The above could have been written last week as we all wrestled with the very un Canadian point blank shooting of a young soldier on our own soil, ironically guarding Ottawa's war memorial & tomb of the unknown soldier. This event hard on the heels of another murder of a military man in uniform - the killer using a car as his lethal weapon of choice. The good that came from this was a renewed pride in our men and women in uniform, a recognition of the risks they take in order to protect us, and a strong emotional unity in valuing our hard won freedom.
Please take the time on Tuesday to observe the traditional 2 minutes of silence and honor our great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, brothers, sisters and children, who fought for peace in our time and lost their lives in order that we may live in the freedom which we often now take for granted. Let's wear our poppies in gratitude and respect, and be thankful that last week's senseless violence is not the norm in this great country. As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 in 1914, let us remember our active troops today and be proactive in advocating for them. Campaigning for every soldier, sailor, airman or first responder suffering from post traumatic stress disorder should be a priority - a no brainer. What kind of society are we that we can stand by and see them denied the treatment and care they need in order to recover from the horrors of war. This is the very least we can do - of what use are medals if the spirit is broken, the mind full of fear and a desire to give up on life. So easy to focus on all if this for 2 minutes , then return to the priveleged life we know. Let this be the year we accept the challenge.
There are services & ceremonies all over the TriCities, specially at the senotaphs. We don't want those men and women to have died in vain.

"Take up your quarrel with the foe:
to you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
in Flanders fields"
In respect and gratitude from Francis & Hawthorne Team.
Sheila Francis

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