Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance Day in Canada

It struck me that, while both observing similar holidays on the same day, America's Veteran's Day is very different from our own Remembrance Day.  So here are some things included in just about every single Remembrance Day ceremony across the country.

First, our national anthem:  O Canada.

Them, we all sing the Royal anthem:  God Save The Queen.

At some point in the ceremony, the poem In Flanders Fields is recited.  I think almost every Canadian knows this poem well - a piece of it is even on our 10 dollar bill.  It was written in 1915, by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on the fields of WWI.  It was apparently inspired by his participation in the 2nd battle of Ypres.

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

With Samhain not far behind us, honouring the dead is still on our minds.  I have many relatives and friends who served or do serve in the Canadian Armed Forces, and a year and a half in the future I will most likely see my brother join up as well.  

It doesn't sound right or respectful to say Happy Remembrance Day, but have a blessed one.  Thanks to all you veterans out there.  

Goddess Bless,

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