My grandfather fought at Vimy Ridge in World War I. My father was in the Canadian Air Force during World War II. When I was little, Remembrance Day was the day everything stopped at 11am for two minutes —everything; traffic, talking, old and young in grocery stores. When I was little, two minutes was a very long time. It made an impact, even if I didn’t understand what was going on.
The featured songs today are my attempt to provide a few pieces of simple music for primary students to remember that peace is still something we need to work towards. AND, that especially on November 11 in Canada (I’ve since discovered that the remembering day varies in different countries) we think about people who in the past or in the present serve in our Armed Forces.
Today is very different from my growing years during the flower-power of the 1960s. With the world community seeming to shrink, and internet making far away seem very close; with refugees from war-torn countries coming to live in our neighbourhoods, and people from our neighbourhoods going to fight for peace far away … finding a balance in the remembering, especially when working or living with young children can be difficult. Peace be with you as you prepare to remember this November.
In 2015, with my Grandfather’s diary in hand, I visited places in France and Belgium where he fought during World War I. Remembrance Day I spent in Mons, staying with friends who were living/working at the Nato base there. The art work in “Poppies Are for November” were done by students at the Canadian school on the base.