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Canada Remembers

November 10th, 2005, 08:33 AM
Every November 11th, Canadians across the country pause in a silent moment of remembrance for the men and women who served our country during wartime. We honour those who fought for Canada - in the First World War (1914-1918), the Second World War (1939-1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953). More than 1,500,000 Canadians served overseas - more than 100,000 die, 45,000 in WWII alone. They gave their lives and their future so that we may live in peace.

Since 1950, Canada has lost 120 soldiers to Peace Keeping missions around the world.

Who Is He? - by Unkown

He is profane and irreverent,
living as he does in a world full of
capriciousness, frustration and disillusionment.
He is perhaps the best-educated of his kind in history,
but will rarely accord respect on the basis of mere degrees or titles.

He speaks his own dialect, often incomprehensible to the layman.
He can be cold, cruel, even brutal and is frequently insensitive.
Killing is his profession and he strives very hard to become even more skilled at it.

His model is the grey, muddy,
hard-eyed slayer who took the untakeable at Vimy Ridge,
endured the unendurable in the Scheldt and held the unholdable at Kapyong.

He is a superlative practical diplomat;
his efforts have brought peace to countless countries around the world.
He is capable of astonishing acts of kindness, warmth and generosity.
He will give you his last sip of water on a parched day and his last food to a hungry child;
he will give his very life for the society he loves.
Danger and horror are his familiars and his sense of humour is accordingly sardonic.
What the unknowing take as callousness is his defence against the unimaginable;
he whistles through a career filled with graveyards.

His ethos is one of self-sacrifice and duty.
He is sinfully proud of himself, of his unit and of his country
and he is unique in that his commitment to his society is Total.
No other trade or profession dreams of demanding such of its members
and none could successfully try.

He loves his family dearly,
sees them all too rarely and as often as not loses them to the demands of his profession.
Loneliness is the price he accepts for the privilege of serving.
He accounts discomfort as routine and the search for personal gain as beneath him;
he has neither understanding of nor patience
for those motivated by self-interest, politics or money.

His loyalty can be absolute, but it must be purchased.
Paradoxically, the only coin accepted for that payment is also loyalty.
He devours life with big bites, knowing that each bite might be his last
and his manners suffer thereby. He would rather die regretting the things
he did than the ones he dared not try. He earns a good wage by most
standards and, given the demands on him, is woefully underpaid.

He can be arrogant, thoughtless and conceited, but will spend himself,
sacrifice everything for total strangers in places he cannot even pronounce.
He considers political correctness a podium for self-righteous fools,
but will die fighting for the rights of anyone he respects or pities.

He is a philosopher and a drudge,
an assassin and a philanthropist, a servant and a leader, a disputer and a mediator,
a Nobel Laureate peacekeeper and the Queen's Hitman, a brawler and a healer,
best friend and worst enemy. He is a rock, a goat, a fool, a sage, a drunk, a
provider, a cynic and a romantic dreamer. Above it all, he is a hero for our time.

You, pale stranger, sleep well at night only because he exists for you,
the citizen who has never met him, has perhaps never thought of him
and may even despise him.
He is both your child and your guardian. His devotion to you is unwavering.

He is a Canadian Soldier.

November 10th, 2005, 09:00 AM
Excellent Reminder. Thanks, I completely forgot what today is.:thumbs up

November 10th, 2005, 09:08 AM
Your very welcome, although it is tomorrow. lol.

As a Canadian Soldier it is hard for me to forget.

November 10th, 2005, 09:31 AM
Another good story.

November 10th, 2005, 10:30 AM
You want to know what really burns me about Remembrance Day?? It's all of the people who DON'T pause for a moment of silence on Remembrance Day. Is it really that hard to stop work for a minute of silence, remembrance and prayer??? I watch people keep on doing whatever it is they are doing totally taking our great country for granted. If it wasn't for the brave men and woman who gave their lives or put their lives in danger for US, where would we be today?? I don't think people are aware of how important this day really is. It's a shame.

I do know my grandparents were in the war, but it is something we've never talked about. I don't really know any soldiers, but I don't have to know one to appreciate what they do or have done for us.

So gdamadg, THANK YOU for doing your part in keeping Canada a free and glorious country!!!:ca:

Rick C
November 10th, 2005, 11:32 AM
My grandfather emigrated to central Alberta from England but returned as a private in the British Infantry in WWI, eventually rising to Captain.

In the final days of WWI, after being wounded and gassed a few times through the war, he was nominated for a Victoria Cross, settling for the Military Cross, Distinguished Service Order and Croix de Guerre (France).

Amazingly, the link below is a picture from the morning of the day (Sept 29, 1918) of the action for which he was nominated. He led a charge across this bridge, cutting the wires (still visible in the picture) to the charges that would have destroyed it, and bayonetting or shooting the Germans on the other side. He might even be in the crowd or on the bridge in the picture:

Riqueval Bridge, St. Quentin Canal, France:

The bridge as it stands today and a brief description of my grandfather's action that day: Den%26lr%3D

He returned to the life of a gentleman farmer in the Pine Lake/Red Deer area of Alberta, fathering six children, of which my father was the youngest. The memories of the war haunted him for the rest of his life. As a young boy, 50 years after the war ended, I reduced him to tears asking him how many Germans he had killed.

There's a framed tribute of him hanging in my office, himself in uniform in one picture and then another as an old man later in life, with a contemporary description of his exploits from a local newspaper in 1918. He was awarded his medals at Buckingham Palace by the King, whom he had met earlier and touring him around the battlefield at Bellinglise, France.

Yes, I'm wearing a poppy and will be doing so at the service on the 11th hour of the 11 day of the 11th month.

Lest we forget.

Rick C

November 10th, 2005, 11:45 AM
It is tomorrow... I felt all bad because I thought I missed it but today's the 10th.

Rememberance day always meant a lot to me, partly because we always had veterans come to our school to tell us stories and partly because none of my family was in the war. I somehow feel like my grandfather and my great uncles were too selfish to go, even though my grammy stayed here and made weapons like the rest of the women... I didn't lose any blood in the wars, and to me that makes what these men and women sacrificed mean more. They did it for me when my own family didn't. You know?

So I keep my poppy on my sun visor of my car (I swear I was the first who did that over 5 years ago) and I give generously for that one poppy every year (ok, sometimes I take two in case I lose one in the first 10 minutes). The veterans are always surprised that a young person gives so much to them, but it's really nothing. If everybody gave as little as I do, the veterans might have the life and comfort they deserve more than all of us.:) :love:

November 10th, 2005, 11:58 AM
My grandmother was a so called "war bride" - one of the many women who married men in the forces while they were fighting overseas. Most were British but some were Dutch or of other nationalities from places the various regiments traversed as they sought to and eventually liberated Europe. She was from Ireland - County Galway though my grandfather met her while she was working as a nurse for the Red Cross in London (no wonder I have wonderlust, lol). He was a proud member of the North Shore regiment which participated in Normandy on D-Day. He did not talk of war stories very often though I did learn much from my grandmother about the war and its time. She kept her ration books (people at home in the various allied countries had to ration gas, nylon, sugar - the books contain stamps - each family was allowed so many). An uncle was a veteran of Hong Kong and he had a severe drinking problem after all the abuse and torture he suffered there.
My grandmother's brother also fought with the RAF and later returned to Ireland to head the army there (probably an even more precarious position fgor the years to come!)

My maternal grandfather was a young doctor in world war 2 and he served with the United States army in Normandy. He became an otolaryngologist I suspect so he would not have to think of many of the injuries he had treated as a suregon in the carnage of the war!

So yes, I proudly wear a poppy!! Yesterday, a very special VIA Rail train left Halifax with vets from the North Shore Regiment who are headed to Ottawa for the ceremonies tomorrow in Ottawa. It brings tears to my eyes when I see on the news that at each stopped they are being treated like the rock stars they are!

In Flanders Fields, the poppies grow....

November 10th, 2005, 12:08 PM

Your welcome, but I don't believe I need thanks. I just do what I do, it's just another job.

Rick C,

That is an amazing story. It wasn't until I joined the army that I was able to get my Grandfather to talk about the war. And even then it was only a little bit and I never asked him again, not wanting to make him cry again.

If any one has the time and would like to learn more or pay their respects, go to your local Legion. There are still a few Vets left and they do tell stories. As well that is where the majority of the Canadian Forces will be spending the day.

November 10th, 2005, 12:22 PM

You should not feel like your family did not do anything. Not every one would or could be a soldier. A lot of men were turned away, because they did not meet the criteria to a soldier.

When you come near the base, you see yellow ribbons every where. For those of us that are over seas. But some wear an invisible ribbon. It is for those invisible heroes. The families at home and all those suporting us.

November 10th, 2005, 12:26 PM
Is remberance day a stat across the country? I'm just curious, I don't know how you can forget a long weekend. I always take a minute of silence at 11 am to remeber all those who had to sacrifice for us during the wars and as gdamadg mentioned during the peackeeping missions as well.

I personally know many soldiers, as I grew up about 15 minutes form the Edmonton Garrison (used to be an airbase). It always sad to see the soliders have to leave their families for months at a time. I am proud of the work our Canadain Military does as peackeepers.:thumbs up :ca:

November 10th, 2005, 12:54 PM
No it is not a National Stat holiday, but that is a good idea. Possibly an election point. lol. It is just asked that you take the moment of silence. For us, we partake in the parades and then attend functions at Legions across Canada. I will have a "sore" head on Saturday morning. Normally it is a work day the next day, those hurt. lol.

November 10th, 2005, 01:01 PM
It should be a stat across the county. We get the day off. I think it is important, it makes it easier for people to take the time to attend a rememberance ceremony.

Yes I remeber 2 years ago drinking in the pub with a bunch of soldiers all dressed in their good uniforms. I am sure they had a sore head the next day. I know I did.

November 10th, 2005, 01:25 PM
Most govt agencies and the like observe Rememberance Day. Obviously, we can't close the hospital but I have no office hours.

I just noticed Prin's comment - I sometimes read too quickly (sigh! - and I do not think you should feel that way at all Prin. Many many ppl helped the war effort at home. They sacrificed, bought war bonds and there were certain requirements to get into the army and sometimes even minor medical ailments kept ppl out, even when they wanted to serve.

I do plan to attend the ceremonies tomorrow - and for some reason, we always have miserable weather in the Maritimes for R Day. It almost always is cold and rainy. My secretary has coerced me into playing piano at a reception for some vets - I owe her because I asked her to email every Fla newspaper I could think of with info about Pag's Tommy and she wrote some 50 plus newspapers (advertisers, weeklies, you name it, newsletters of neighbourhood assns). But she did not have to twist my arm too much. I love to listen to their stories. For awhile, an elderly grand uncle was the oldest vet in my community (he was a vet of WWI!) and he had also sevred in WWII. This is the 1st yr that there will be no one from the "Great" War at the ceremonies in Ottawa, a rather sad fact.

This cartoon appeared in one of Halifax's daily newspaper today- some levity for two serious situations:

November 10th, 2005, 01:36 PM
"and for some reason, we always have miserable weather in the Maritimes"

I think that is a trend all across Canada. I don't recall a Rememberance Day that was not cold and miserable. I think it is fitting and a very small price to pay in order to pay respects to all that endured far worse conditions. I am not only a serving soldier but also an injured Veteran. It is hard for me to spend long periods of time standing and most of my days are spent in constant pain. But on that one day a year, I put on my uniform and spend the day forgetting about the pain. It is a humbling site, to see these old Vet's that are not in the best of shape any more, endure the pain and march in parades.

Rick C
November 10th, 2005, 01:49 PM
Its a weird day in some respects, not a stat holiday yet I believe stock markets are closed in Canada and the USA. Its like half a holiday.

Speaking of the weather, as a young Air Cadet in my early teens, I remember dreading this day as it usually meant donning my uniform and polished shoes and marching backing and forth in the biting cold then standing literally FROZEN SOLID for about an hour as all the speeches were read and wreathes laid at the cenotaph in our small, dusty prairie town.

I was proud of the day but dreading it all the same. I don't think I've ever been as cold in my life since. :sick:

By the way, if you get the chance, go to the library and read "And No Birds Sang," the critically acclaimed first person account of his own WWII experiences by Canadian author Farley Mowat. One of the great anti-war books of all time, the descent of an eager young man looking for battle to someone dreading the "worm" of fear coursing through him. And . . . . its hilarious in its own way.

Rick C

November 10th, 2005, 02:11 PM
I used to think Rememberance day should also be a stat. Apparently, it was changed because they found that people were using it as a day to sleep in, not remember. I'm glad it is no longer a stat, that now children will be guaranteed to be a part of it through Rememberance day ceremonies at school.

My grandfather lied about his age and went to war at 17 after his brother was killed. At 17, all I worried about was girls and cars. If not for the brave men and women who fought for us, I might not have the luxury to worry about trivial things.

Thank you, to everyone who ever fought for our freedom. Though I wear the poppy for a few weeks, I keep the gratitude in my heart year round.

November 10th, 2005, 02:42 PM
We always had a remeberance day cerimony at school no matter what. If we didn't attend school on that day we usually had it the day before.

I know many people with the day off will be sleeping in, but I also know quite a few people who will be going to a ceremony tomorrow morning. I also think alot of those people would not go had they had to take time off work. Making it a holiday shows respect for the veterans.

November 10th, 2005, 02:53 PM
Not a stat holiday?
It's a stat holiday here in B.C.,and always has been. I just assumed this was nation wide.

These stories have been great to read. My father was a veteran of WW2, and his own father, my grand-father, was killed at 23 in WW1. He never saw or held his only son.

Rembembrance Day is a highly important day, for quiet reflection and to honour the valiant efforts of all who served, fought and gave their lives.
I feel it is more than worthy of being declared a Stat. holiday.

How are others, Labour Day, or the provincial stat days. more "important" than remembering our veterans?

November 10th, 2005, 03:53 PM
:o See I can't even get calendar dates right.

My Dad was in the RAF, flew Mosquitos, Spitfires and Lancasters during WW2, my Uncle was in the Navy during WW2 and landed on the beaches in Normandy and my great grandfather was seriously injured in WWI. My Dad rarely talks about the war but does occasionally mention friends and anecdotes... He doesn't talk about the horrid stuff. He remembers in his own quiet way.

November 10th, 2005, 04:15 PM
Re:"I'm glad it is no longer a stat, that now children will be guaranteed to be a part of it through Rememberance day ceremonies at school."

There is certainly no school here - has always been thus and I doubt it will ever change. There has always been mega support for Remeberance Day here - prob because so many ppl enlisted during the war.

doggy lover
November 10th, 2005, 04:47 PM
I work in a nursing home so we always remember, but I have seen staff trying to do some work when they think that no one is looking. I find it very disrespectful, that we can't stand still for a moment to respect the dead. I was even at the Royal Winter Fair a few years for Rememberance day and every one stops and stands for the moment silence. Its funny with that many people there it is very quiet, you only hear the odd cow, or other animal make a noise, it is very peaceful.:ca: Remembers its soldiers.

November 10th, 2005, 06:47 PM
There has always been mega support for Remeberance Day here

I have been from coast to coast and you see the difference in the attitudes towards the Veterans. But typically there is a lot of support. It is the support of our current military that varies drastically. But that is a different topic for a different time.

I think that a National Stat would be a good thing. It shouldn't be the responsibility of the Government or Educational Institutions to teach children the importance of this solemn day. It is up to parents, and it would mean a lot more if children went with their parents and grandparents. We will soon lose the last generation of War Veterans. After that, it is generations of Veterans that our society does not typically recognize as Vet's.

November 10th, 2005, 07:00 PM
"The inquisitive mind of a child"

Why are they selling poppies, Mummy?
Selling poppies in town today.
The poppies, child, are flowers of love.
For the men who marched away.

But why have they chosen a poppy, Mummy?
Why not a beautiful rose?
Because my child, men fought and died
In the fields where the poppies grow.

But why are the poppies so red, Mummy?
Why are the poppies so red?
Red is the colour of blood, my child.
The blood that our soldiers shed.

The heart of the poppy is black, Mummy.
Why does it have to be black?
Black, my child, is the symbol of grief.
For the men who never came back.

But why, Mummy are you crying so?
Your tears are giving you pain.
My tears are my fears for you my child.
For the world is forgetting again.

Author Unknown

November 10th, 2005, 10:17 PM
I learned this poem as a child in school....I still remember

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

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

November 11th, 2005, 07:34 AM
Well said Schwinn. It is too important a day to just be considered another day off work or school. What a different world it would be today if so many didn't pay the cost to secure our freedoms. Let us remember that the cost was very high.


Poppy Campaign Information (Card)
(The Royal Canadian Legion)

World War I:

1. 628,736 Canadians served.
2. 66,573 died and 138,166 were wounded.
3. 2,818 were taken prisoner of war.
4. 175 merchant seamen died by enemy action.

World War II:

1. 1,031,902 Canadian men and 49,963 Canadian women served.
2. 44,927 died and 43,145 were wounded.
3. 8,271 were taken prisoner of war.
4. 1,146 merchant seamen died by enemy action.


1. 26,791 Canadians served.
2. 516 died and 1,558 were wounded.
3. 33 were taken prisoner of war.

The Gulf War:

1. 3,837 Canadian men and 237 Canadian women served.
2. There were no Canadian casualties or prisoners of war during the Gulf War.

Sources: Department of National Defence; Veterans Affairs Canada. Queries regarding these statistics shuld be referred to these departments. March 1992.

Rick C
November 11th, 2005, 09:31 AM
Its Veterans Day in the USA as well . . . . a good story here looking at war from a soldier's point of view:

Rick C

November 11th, 2005, 09:44 AM
I will remember. :ca:

November 11th, 2005, 10:42 AM
Personally, I, too, think it is important enough to make it a stat holiday. I remember when it was. I've been told that there is little significance placed on it in schools now (when I went, we had a half day assembly). That being said, little is better than nothing.

And you're right, gdamadg, it should be the responsiblity of the parents. Unfortunatly, that doesn't always work, and while I'm usually of the thought that most things about life should be taught by the parents, this is one thing I think needs to be taught by whoever has to teach it.

We were allowed 1 min silence here at work, and I find that it actually choked me up. It is very important to me, and I'm just afraid that, to some, it isn't important enough.

November 11th, 2005, 11:11 AM
I sent an email at work for everyone to honour a moment of silence.

Still heard talking but the majority kept quiet.

November 11th, 2005, 09:21 PM
I had a really cool experience today. Probably the most memorable Remembrance Day I have had. At our parade we had Julian Austin lay a wreath and then hang out with us at the Legion after. I was priviliged to watch him perform a yet to be release song dedicated to the men and woman of the Canadian Forces. It is very emotional, he could not finish singing the song and was in tears. I think there were many in the room in tears, myself included.

I have included a link to the song.

Thank you Julian.


November 12th, 2005, 04:04 PM
a holiday would amek it significant, lets just say many aussies didnt even remember it, me included, but if it was a holiday like the others it would be remembered. like ANZAC day and such ,their holidays and everyone knows why. but with so many war memorial days in this country, its easy to get confused and forget a couple.

i say give us another war memorial public holiday, then i may jsut remember, lifes to busy sometimes. but then we never forget ANZAC day as it is a holiday, and we all do the ANZAC spirit things, i jsut think that effort could be carried over to rememberance day if it were a holiday.

food for thought