Remembrance Day /Veterans Day is reflection of the past, celebration of life and those that provided the freedom enjoyed , and to look toward a better and brighter future in honor of those that made the greatest of sacrifices their very lives. It’s a time to give thanks for those who have given their lives to ensure all life, liberties and freedoms are maintained. It is a time of honor and great pride to those soldiers that came back and to celebrate the fruit of their sacrifice. ~ John McCrae (1872-1918)~Flanders Field was written on May 3, 1915 by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, as he bore witness the death of his friend who was 22 year old Alex Helmer on May 2, 1915. Helmer was killed by a shell burst. McCrae wrote this poem out of grief and anguish as he just finished performing the funeral ceremony for his friend. With a calmness and reflective stature as he looked from a distance at his friends grave and surrounded in the environment and ambiance of poppies springing up from the ground, gave McCrae the idea to write this poem in honor of his friend and all fallen soldiers.
From the Battle at Queenston Heights in the War of 1812 up through World War I (1914-1918), World War II (1939-1945), and the Korean War (1950-1953), native peoples have fought long and hard. Volunteering en masse for active duty, despite being exempt from Canadian conscription laws, it is estimated that 4,000 men gave of themselves to fight in the Great War of 1914. Many natives, living in some of Canada’s most remote areas, enlisted with great personal effort. One man by the name of William Semice walked from Lake St. Joseph to Port Arthur in order to enlist. This was a distance of over 500 miles. John Campbell, another patriotic native, travelled three thousand miles by trail, canoe, and river steamer to enlist in the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Vancouver (The Indian News, 1970, Vol. 13, No. 8, p. 3).
Native VeteransNatives volunteered to fight in the air, on land, or on the high seas. During the first three years of the war enlistment was made difficult by racism. The air force had stipulated that recruits be of “pure European descent” and the Royal Canadian Navy required applicants to “be a British born subject, of a White Race” (Gaffen, 1985, p. 64). Max Basque, an Indian from Whycocomagh, experienced this racism. As a former merchant marine Max travelled to Montreal to enlist in the Canadian Navy:For more on this article on Native Veterans please click on link
The First Two Minute Silence in London:
The first stroke of eleven produced a magical effect.
The tram cars glided into stillness, motors ceased to cough and fume, and stopped dead, and the mighty-limbed dray horses hunched back upon their loads and stopped also, seeming to do it of their own volition.
Someone took off his hat, and with a nervous hesitancy the rest of the men bowed their heads also. Here and there an old soldier could be detected slipping unconsciously into the posture of ‘attention’. An elderly woman, not far away, wiped her eyes, and the man beside her looked white and stern. Everyone stood very still … The hush deepened. It had spread over the whole city and become so pronounced as to impress one with a sense of audibility. It was a silence which was almost pain … And the spirit of memory brooded over it all.
~From the Manchester Guardian, 12th November 1919.~
As we stand here looking
At the flags upon these graves
Know these flags represent
A few of the true American brave
They fought for their Country