Sunday, November 11, 2007
Today is Remembrance Day- and there are various ceremonies being held throughout the city. I meant to look them up last night- and attend one today but of course didn't do that until 10:45 this morning and the ceremony started near me at 10:55am.
In Alberta people have Remembrance Day off- and in Ontario that luxury is only for civil servants. When I first moved here I thought "How horrible- they don't honour their war vets?! They treat it as just another day?!" But then I thought about what we did in Calgary- and though there may have been ceremonies happening around the city on that day- aside from school- I had never attended one. Remembrance Day had become just another day off. Another day to sleep in and go shopping or see a movie. So maybe it's better this way?
A few years ago I saw the show 'Band of Brothers' (most of it). It's a 10 part series dedicated to WWII and told in such detailed (& horrific) detail. But not just about the battlefield- but also the moments leading up to it- and moments afterwards. What really differentiated it from other war movies- was that being told over 10 hours- it really gave you time to understand and know the characters. I felt as though I would get to know a character, and become attached to that character, in a way I wouldn't with a regular 2 hour movie.
In this way, when one of the soldiers would die in battle, it meant that much more. You could, in the tiniest little way, feel a bit of the pain, or if not feel it- then have a greater appreciation for it. And be able to empathize. It just resulted in a more powerful and personally moving appreciation of what the war meant.
I like to think that I have a respect for those that fought, and continue to fight. I also think that the more I expose myself to the history of the wars- and the realities- the less I will forget how lucky I am, we are, to be here. And to have our freedoms. And to be able to live the life we choose.
I don't feel as though I honoured the vets today- and I really wish I'd gone to a ceremony to show public support- but I did remember. I said a prayer for those that fought (including my own Grandfathers) and those that continue to fight. And I remembered to be thankful.