Tuesday, October 18, 2011

N: Next month, November, do Not forget

November 11, Remembrance Day in Canada

Internet photo from

Note to self—

Make a point to buy a poppy;
Remember those I wear it for.
For my dad and for his father:
Two generations gone to war.

It's almost two years since my father died, so I've been thinking about him even more than usual lately, and about World War II. Gordon Davies was not a war hero. He was a musician in the Canadian Army Show, entertaining the troops in Britain as the bombs dropped. He was a veteran of that war, however, braving the dangers with no weapon of his own, with only the music he played and the scenery he painted, in his effort to keep up the morale of the men and women actively engaged in the fighting.

His father, my grandfather, was a veteran of World War I. There are no longer any World War I veterans alive in Canada. It won't be many years before there are no World War II veterans, either. I think about it, sometimes—about who will remember them on November 11. My nieces and nephews remember my father, who served in World War II, and my cousins remember Grandpa, but not vividly, not well. I am the eldest of the Davies cousins, but the youngest was only a baby when Grandpa died.

Meanwhile, Canada has new war veterans as a result of the war in Afghanistan. These are young people who, on returning home, need the support of the people of our country. So, too, do the families of Canadian men and women who have died in Afghanistan.

It is very likely most of those young people will not have parents who have gone to war before them. Perhaps their mothers or fathers might have served in the Canadian Armed Forces, but Canadian troops saw very little military action except as peacekeepers in the years between the end of World War II and the beginning of the conflict in Afghanistan.

I remember parades when I was a child. In every parade, there would be at least one army tank, which my brother thought very exciting. Members of Canada's army, navy and air force marched proudly in all our childhood parades, and were cheered as befit conquering heroes.

When the children of today's Canadian war veterans watch parades in their home towns, who will they see?

Wikipedia photo
Posted for ABC Wednesday
this week featuring the letter N at centre stage! Take a bow, N.
To see how other bloggers thought about the letter N, please click  HERE!


Nanka said...

A poignant reminder of the passing of time!! Your remembrances were so very heartfelt and thoughtful!!

Leslie said...

I was born on November 11th, Veteran's Day here, so it's always been easy for me to remember! My dad and his brother both served in WW II. This was a lovely post of remembrance, Kay.

anthonynorth said...

Excellent post. In the UK 11 November is remembered by two minutes silence at 11am. The nearest Sunday to it the royal family, all major politicians, leaders of all religions, armed forces chiefs and Commonwealth representatives meet at the national Cenotaph in Whitehall along with hundreds of serving members and 1000s of veterans to honour the Glorious Dead. throughout the country similar remembrances are made. It is a national event and they will not be forgotten.

Roger Owen Green said...

I think that somehow, we'll have yet another war to remember.
My father, who died 11 years ago, is in a military cemetery in North Carolina.
Very nice piece, though melancholy.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

jabblog said...

I think Remembrance Day means more as the years pass. Now we have a minute's silence throughout the UK at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Very poignant! Our last WWI veteran died last year - how strange that some few lived for more than a century while so many of their compatriots died so young. There was some reason for that, surely.

Roy Schulze said...

Years ago, my daughter was telling us what she'd learned in school about Remembrance Day. I asked her what we were supposed to remember, and she said we have to remember to wear a poppy! (My ABC Wednesday this week is Neil Armstrong.)

EG Wow said...

Thanks for this post, Kay. I will remember.

Ann said...

Came Via Berome's post on Peking duck.

Wow, You seasoned traveller.

I like large chunks of meat, not slivers. When I was treated to a high class hotel in Singapore, when they took away the carcass, I felt like saying, please leave the bones, I like to gnaw at them. LOL

Ann said...

I taught my students poppy of Flander. You Dad was a very special person. I supposed if I was a wounded Canadian soldier, his music would be better than medicine.

Did he also perform in concerts?

Did you inherit his musical abilities?

Hildred and Charles said...

A touching post, Kay. Charles is a Veteran of World War 2. He reads the names of the Fallen at the Nov. 11th Remembrance Day services and is always so heartened at the number of people in this small town who come to remember those who gave their lives and those who served. Charles lost both his brothers, - one at Falaise and the other at Nijmagen.

Barbara Rosenzweig said...

So important to remember!
I am enjoying your posts.
Thanks so much for visiting my paintings!

Wanda said...

Very touching, and so important to remember!

Martha said...

My father in law was a Canadian in the US Air Force. My son's birthday is November 11th. Veteran's Day/Remembrance Day.

Leslie: said...

A lovely post today. Have you seen the new "ads" on TV showing the different ages of veterans? They show those from WW2, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan - men AND women! It truly put it in perspective for me as a Canadian who never ever thought about war when I was growing up - other than to remember WW1 and WW2, and a bit later the Korean War.

Gattina said...

In Belgium it's a holiday too, but if you ask people on the street what is the 11th November, nobody knows ! I think we still have 2 veterans left who are honored by the king (if they are still alive this year) and then the King would leave a crown at the war memorial and that's it. Some people think it was the end of WW II.
On one thing everybody agrees : It's a day off !

Shooting Parrots said...

A very thoughtful and poignant post. I was lucky that my father was too young to fight in WWII, unlike his brothers, but we still mark that day.

Meryl said...

This was such a moving, passionate post. Just beautiful. I leave truly touched.

chubskulit said...

Such a wonderful post for N Kay!

Kim, USA said...

I am touch by your post. Happy Wednesday!


Joy said...

An apt post for the day to remember all on the 11th. It is good that some of the world war veterans memories have been recorded for posterity here.

Jo Bryant said...

this was a wonderful post to read- just lovely

Tumblewords: said...

A poignant and powerful tribute to those who have gone on before. Lovely post.

Mrs.D said...

very nice! what a great choice...:)

mrsnesbitt said...

WOW! This blew me away. Thanks so much for chosing this for ABC Wednesday xxx