Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lest We Forget || Remembrance Day {personal}

Sacrifice. Freedom.

Lest we forget on this day the sacrifices made by those who have fought that we might experience freedom.

I texted my friend before today that after visiting Vimy Ridge and June Beach this summer, Remembrance Day feels a little nearer and dearer. 

It feels more real.

Those battles are no longer a few lines from a textbook or research done for an essay. They are real places where people fought.

War is a horrid reality that should not be glossed over or glorified. But to miss the sacrifice of those who have participated in the fight for freedom, whether willingly by choice or due to necessity, would be wrong.

Vimy Ridge - an iconic battle where all four divisions of the Canadian forces joined together for the first time. This place was sobering to visit. Trench warfare was a horrid and gruesome thing to learn about. 

The monument at this place was spectacular. And standing on a little piece of Canadian land in a foreign country made me so proud of my country.

Juno Beach - the Canadian landing place on D-Day for WWII 

Canadian War Cemetery in Normandy France

In Flanders Field*

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.

~John McCrae

*This poem was written by a field surgeon in the Canadian artillery, in the midst of the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium, in May 1915

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