All of the big kids and Daddy are out today, busy with various pursuits. So the three little kids and I are the only ones home. We have no vehicle available, so instead of going into our small town to witness the Remembrance Day activities, we watched it on CBC.
It really was an emotional experience, to sit on the couch with my three youngest children, watching the old soldiers with medals on their chests and tears in their eyes, as they remembered days long past and friends long gone.
I explained a bit about the World Wars to the kids. I reminded them that Adolf Hitler was the tyrant who wanted to kill the Jews and would not acknowledge the victory of Jesse Owens, the black Olympian runner (just read that story to the kids this week).
They asked lots of questions, and were interested in knowing that my uncle, Ray Matthews, was an air force pilot in the second World War, and that Rick's grandfather, Edward Stewart, was a Piper in the first World War. Both men lost their lives in service to this country. Both families were affected profoundly by this loss.
When I watched the woman representing Canadian Mothers place her wreath, I thought about my grandmother receiving the news that her eldest son had been shot down. So very sad.
In 2006, Canadian soldiers are serving in Afghanistan. Were it not for them, the Taliban would take over, oppressing the people for their own twisted ends. It disappoints me profoundly that the majority of Canadians want to see us pull out of Afghanistan and not keep our commitment to the Afghani people. Yes, men have lost their lives. Yes, more could die. But I believe that our soldiers are truly making a difference.
Time will tell...if they are given enough time.
Maybe 20 years from now my youngest children will be sitting on their couches, explaining to their children why Canadians have a day called "Remembrance Day". And maybe, just maybe, they will be able to proudly say that we Canadians DID make a difference.