Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

Vancouver's 2010 Remembrance Day ceremony attracted an even larger crowd than usual to this year's event; it seems part of the tradition now, to see an increase in attendance each November 11.

The ceremony at the Cenotaph concludes with the remaining WWII veterans placing their single white roses with singular determination, in memory of those whose hair never got to grow as grey, whose children, and grandchildren, could not accompany them during this traditional gesture of remembrance.

We may sincerely say Thank You, but the words are like the raindrops also seemingly part of the fabric of this ceremony's tradition. They come, and they go. It's the memory of the gesture that tends to remain; the tender hand on the shoulder speaking more eloquently and casting a longer shadow on the mind than mere words could ever do. The gestures, and the contact that comes with them: these are what renew the shared hope that there may still be a better tomorrow.

We watch, and we can't help but wonder: was the sacrifice worth it? What promise, is there, for Peace?
As ever, the answer is everywhere around us, carried in the thoughtful eyes of the young.

Many are not yet old enough to read the names of those represented through the many wreaths laid in their memory. Still, their young minds, like their delicate hands, reach out to understand the deeper meaning to what they witnessed today. And Thank God, there are many who make a point to help them appreciate what these gestures are to mean to them.

"Say Thank You", they are coached by grateful parents, and the bashful smile that animates the child's grateful touch must surely bring a renewal of faith to the older hands that gently receive it. A renewal of faith through gratitude, and with it, a chance for Peace.

Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget.