Top: Icy Streets, Remembrance Day 2008
Bottom: Grandpa, Mike Turchak
We woke to grey skies and slick streets. Remembrance day has been an event we’ve attended for as long as I can remember. Even back to age five in my slick new red velvet coat. Sometimes it’s been cold, sometimes warm, sometimes there is snow, sometimes there isn’t.
Traditionally the ceremonies have been held outdoors. City Hall, and the Cenotaph is just half a block away from my home. We would stand in rain or shine and pay homage to the veterans, and to those still fighting. We would peer to find grandpa in the group of marching veterans. Grandpa was quiet, but revelled in his family. He spoke little of the war, perhaps feeling that he needed to carry the burden alone. But Remembrance days were always jolly…we ate too much, and we drank too much, and we laughed…and remembered.
About six years ago, they moved the ceremony indoors. A testimony to the aging of the veterans. We woke up this morning to shiny streets, slick with ice, and thoughts of how this wasn’t going to be good for all the elderly folks who would be about. Sure enough the Remembrance Day Ceremony garnered about half the attendants that it usually does. But you can bet that most of those who had to stay home were observing thier moments of silence at 11:00
Since Grandpa died in 2004 a few more tears are shed each Remembrance Day in our family. We bring pictures of grandpa and put them on the table and we eat, and we talk and we drink, and we remember. The young adults in our family feel it’s important enough to return home for Remembrance Day. And that’s important. We all need to stop and remember and think about the return of peace.