remembering

Today is Remembrance Day (in Canada) and Veterans Day (in the U.S.).

Before that it was Armistice Day, commemorating the end of WW I on 11 November 1918.

Before that, it was simply known as November 11.  Probably in the same way that, before 2001, September 11 was just another pretty autumn day.

These photos were taken at one of my favourite places, a cemetery on a hill near our home.  Not to be morbid, but I go there to think, to be peaceful, to connect to those who have gone before.

There is no one I know buried here.  My ancestors are in Canada, and Ireland, and Wales, and France.  But every one of these stones represents someone’s Someone.

Both of my grandfathers wore military uniforms in WW II.

My mother’s father grew up in rural Northern Ontario, learning to trap and fish and hunt.  Before Canada was officially involved in the war, Pop joined the British Royal Air Force.  On the bombed-out streets of London, he met an Irish gal from County Cork, who would become my Nana.

My father’s father joined the Canadian forces, when Newfoundland (his home) wasn’t yet a Canadian province.  I don’t know as much about his story, and he is gone now.  I know just who to ask to learn more.

The state of war now is very different from the carpet-bombing carnage and bodies-on-the-beach our grandfathers witnessed, at least where developed nations are involved.  I’m sure the wars in the Congo are as bloody as they have ever been.

But young men and women are still coming home in flag-draped boxes.

And every one of them is someone’s Someone.

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