Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lest we forget........

Image by Heather Patterson and Ron Lightburn

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 agoWe 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.
- John McCrae

Because this is Hunter's first Remembrance Day in Canada he was full of questions. His teacher asked them to write and essay for a contest at school concerning Remembrance Day and he had no idea what to do (see post below). He sat with us and asked about our family and what service they had given. That was the basis for his essay. I am going to post it here for you 'cause, dang I'm just too proud of him.

The first time I saw a red poppy I was curious. I wondered what it meant; I asked my classmate what it was and what it meant. She stared at me oddly. I told her that I hadn't seen on before. She told me it was a sign of peace and a symbol to honour soldiers that fought in the wars. I went home and asked about my family in the war. My grandma said, "Your Great-Great Grandfather fought in the First World War. When he was a young man, he went to Normal School to learn to be a teacher. While he was there, he met the girl he wanted to marry. She was a teacher too. But then the war came along. He decided that he had to join the army to fight for Canada. So, they decided not to marry unless he came back from the war. He fought with the army in France (Vimy Ridge, and Passchendaele) and was gone for four years. When he came back he had to find a way to get back to living away from the war and support a family, so it was another two years before they could get married."
She also told me about what happened when WWII began, "When the second war started, my grandparents had six children and a fram. He joined the war, but this time, My Grandpa wasn't the only one fighting in the family. The oldest son, my dad, and his two sisters joined and they all fought for Canada."
Grandpa told me, "Three of my uncles and two of my aunt's joined the Armed Forces of Canada. Two uncles never came back."
The poppy reminds me of those in my family that did and those who are now. To honour all soldiers, we try to make Canada the best it can be and remember them by wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day and bowing our heads for 2 minutes of silence.

Isn't it a great essay? I have 2 brothers in the US military. My brother Jon is a Marine and my brother Carl is in the Army Reserves. He has just been called up to go to Afghanistan.

Because of Hunters questions we realized that we didn't know very much about my Great-Grands experience in the wars. He really didn't speak of it. With the internet as handy as it is we began to dig. We found a copy of his enlistment papers and what regiment he served with. We now know that he was among the amazing soldiers who fought at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele. My grandpa helped his country win a battle that no other country was able to succeed at. If you don't know these stories you must read them. I did not know what he sacrificed until I read these accounts. It broke my heart, and made me so very proud and patriotic at the same time.



Beautiful post Deanna !

The Bullknitter

Love the essay. Love the family history. One of my G.Grandpa's kids went in the army with him but was stationed in Vancouver - as a librarian???

Deanna Quinton Larson

A librarian? I guess their needed everywhere. And at least he was pretty much assured he would come home with a job like that. LOL