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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Never Forget the Fallen

I haven't posted in awhile - life's curve balls just keep on coming. However, I wanted to take some time out today to quietly reflect on Remembrance Day and what it means to me both as a Canadian and as a Torontonian.

The annual East York Remembrance Day ceremony was at the Civic Centre on Coxwell which is just around the corner, so I shut off my blackberry and headed over for a moment of silence.

The crowd that had gathered was admirable and touching. The young and the old, the uniformed and the civilians, the politicians and other community members gathered around the central monument in a moment of silence marked by the cadence of a single horn and the haunting melody of a bagpipe.

As four vintage Royal Canadian Air Force planes flew overhead, I choked up, suddenly hearing their roar for the first time in the context of war. 64 years ago, Toronto's soldiers began returning from foreign shores and many of them were sent to live on the complacent streets of East York, settling into the area's newly built post-war bungalows. For those men and women, the sound of bombers overhead didn't always signify a pleasant aerial display, but a real and horrifying threat. While children smile and point to the sky, a whole generation will remember the sounds of modern warfare and reflect on emotions that most Canadians will probably never have to face.

We're the lucky ones and it's important to remember that today and always.

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