Saturday, November 11, 2006
It is a wet and cold Remembrance Day here in Toronto and also in Ottawa where the official ceremonies took place. It seems appropriate somehow to have rain falling during our observance of this most emotional of occasions.
The sound of the lone trumpeter playing the haunting "Last Post" never fails to send chills down my spine and bring tears to my eyes. The sight of the
aged faces of the veterans, many experiencing emotions and memories that
most of us cannot begin to imagine, also evokes a lump in my throat and
further tears. The rain is a physical manifestation of the sorrow we all feel
watching the events around the war memorials and the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
A few years ago a spontaneous gesture by a member of the crowd after the
ceremonies in Ottawa inspired a new tradition that continues to be carried out today. As the veterans parade passed by, and the politicians and dignitaries got back into their limousines, someone took off their poppy and walking up to the tomb of the Unknow Soldier placed it on top of it. Others saw this and they did the same. Before long the tomb was covered in small, red poppies. A single poppy may not have the presence of a large wreath, but a couple of thousand poppies speak eloquently of the respect and the pride and the emotions of the common people who gather in the cold and the pouring rain to remember.
We Remember.....We will never forget.