No, this post title does not come with a zillion exclamation marks of excitement or fanfare of its impending arrival. Just not that kind of a post. I planned on writing a post for this day – not holiday – again this year on November 11th, but really, we should be aware for more than just one day. And if many of us are honest, even that day sneaks up on us and sometimes slips by us entirely.
Last year, I actually had the day off (not a PD day at work) so took advantage and planned ahead to get to a ceremony that morning. Despite just days before being beautiful and sunny, the weather had other plans – it dumped snow and was -20 or so. We went anyway – we were sure we could manage an hour standing in the cold in Remembrance of those that did it for days, weeks, months. The Field of Crosses was stunning to behold. The choirs, speeches, instruments, service groups – impressive. During the moment of silence and the Last Post, Memorial Drive was closed to traffic and it is beyond words to describe what it was like on that biting November morning looking over 3000 crosses, the Bow River, and downtown Calgary in utter silence but for the south-flying Canada geese.
This year, Remembrance Day and its meaning has already been on my mind for a while since the art teacher at my new school asked me to participate in his art installation. Students and teachers alike are creating maple leaves decorated in some way, shape, or form to share why it’s important for us to remember. Why is Remembrance Day still relevant? Or… if it’s not, why should it be? Here are a couple of leaves R created for his installation.
The middle leaf is a collaboration. I wrote the piece below and he illustrated it.
… I don’t care what’s going on in those other countries?
… this has nothing to do with me?
… I don’t get it at all?
… my family is on the front lines in that country?
… I exist in the middle of war everyday?
… I am grateful for the solace of not understanding what war is?
…I appreciate the magnitude of being Canadian?
…I acknowledge someone who sacrificed for that?
What if I don’t remember?
What if I do.