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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Remembrance Day







On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month….
we will remember them.


Monday, November 11 is Remembrance Day here in Canada and also in Great Britain.  In the United States it is Veterans Day.

In Canada we have memorial services at cenotaphs all across the country and also in arenas in some cities.

I have attended Remembrance Day ceremonies ever since I was a little girl. We would go the the service at Victoria Park and stand in the cold to honour those brave men and women who served our country in World War 1, World War 2 and the Korean Conflict.
My father would march with the other veterans and I remember watching them parade by along the street.  I was proud of him.

My father served in both world wars.  When World War 1 started he signed up and went overseas.  He was just 16 years old.  He served first with the Royal Canadian Artillery Fredericton 36 Battery, then was transferred to the 9th Brigade CFA from 1915 to 1918.

Nov. 5, 1896 - Oct. 29, 1969

Look at his young face sporting a moustache.  
My brother looked so much like him when he was younger.
{he still does!}

Dad also served our country during World War 2 but I don't think he saw battle.  His mission was a secret to us all but we knew he had scars from both wars.   The emotional scars from the terrible things he saw while fighting in Europe as a young man stayed with him until he died in 1969.  

Dad was in Mons, Belgium when the first war ended.  My sister has his letters that he wrote home and I have a copy of the letter he wrote of the jubilation of the people when the Canadian troops marched through the streets of the war torn city.  My dad, Major John (Jack) Harris, was with the Canadian division that liberated the town of Mons.  
Here is an excerpt from that letter dated Nov. 14, 1918:

"Flags that were hidden during the German occupation in all sorts of weird corners were brought forth and bunting and flowers were to be seen wherever one looked.  As we went through towns crowds of civilians lined the roadsides and passed out flowers and small French and Belgian flags to the troops.  Whenever we halted the women dashed out with hot coffee for us."



On Monday Murray and I will attend the Remembrance Day service at our local park's cenotaph.  We will join many others as we honour the fallen and the veterans.  There will be organizations, school children, cadets, RCMP, and soldiers from Base Gagetown as well as the general public from the surrounding rural areas in attendance.  A canon is fired at 2 minutes to 11 before the 2 minutes silence, and again afterward.  The sound will echo across the river and down the valley.

Do you observe Remembrance Day in some way?
Do you have a family member(s) that served or gave their life for the freedoms we have today?

Please take a moment to remember the sacrifice of these brave men and women at 11:00 Monday morning.
May God bless them and may God bless our country.


Blessings,

Pamela



40 comments:

  1. What a beautiful memory of your Dad and how you mark Remembrance Day is so inspiring. Made me think of my Dad whose battalion landed on IWork Jima after the bomb was dropped.

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  2. Beautiful post Pamela. My son was stationed at Base Gagetown for 2 years. Have wonderful day.

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  3. I too posted a tribute to the Veterans ~ family and all ~ They deserve our thanks and love ~ Wonderful post and photography is exquisite ~ thanks, carol, xxx

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  4. What a handsome young man...so young! Wonderful stories you have and this letter. It's inspiring to know that patriotism was alive and well with the Belgians. Stay warm tomorrow! (We woke to snow this morning.)

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  5. God bless our service men and women! I always try to make a point of thanking any veterans I encounter on Veteran's Day. And I always have a blog post to honor them. My dad served in WWII and was part of the invading wave of troops after the bombs were dropped in Japan. He never, ever talked about it. My husband's dad also served in WWII. The Army quickly found out that he was a chemist, so he was sent to Oak Ridge, TN, to develop the nuclear bombs instead of risking life and limb on the front lines. Thank you for sharing your dad's photo and some of the remembrances.

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  6. Pamela ~ I always observe with great gratitude Remembrance Day. My Dad fought in the war in Holland. I will always remember. Beautiful post ~

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  7. My husband is a war veteran and I appreciate everyone that serves in the military to defend our country and our freedoms. This is a wonderful post! Thank you my friend. Sweet hugs, Diane

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  8. veterans are a plenty in my family. my father, my father-in-law, several others too ... what a beauty service so many have done for us all within in the world of ours. what a heartfelt post. ( :

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  9. Beautiful post! I remember that there was no school on Remembrance Day, I always went to the service too. Schools are not even cancelled in. Ontario.

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  10. Lovely post . I will always remember . My dad was a soldier in the second world war in Britain . Have a good day !

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  11. Wonderful post, Pamela. We must always remember.

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  12. Pamela
    You must be very proud of your father.
    This post was a wonderful memorial to him.
    We must always remember that freedom comes with a price.
    It is sometimes lives, but more often the emotional stress those
    that served must live with forever.
    My father served in WWll. He served in the Navy and was on a ship that had to help in the clean up at Pearl Harbour.

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  13. Beautiful post, Pamela! I am so thankful for the men and women who have served our country. My hubby was in the Vietnam War and even now I can tell from what he mumbles when he is sleeping that he is still fighting sometimes. They never forget the horrors of war. He had an uncle who was a prisoner of war for 3 long years in Korea. I don't know how he made it out with his sanity. Some of us have no idea what our servicemen and women have gone through that we might be free. God bless each of them!!

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  14. I will be in remembrance tomorrow, for you and Canada and for me and America . . .

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  15. A wonderful post! I too, will be in remembrance.

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  16. Wonderful post, Pamela. Your father is a handsome man.We call it Veterans Day here and I will also be remembering. My grandfather died very young from Malaria he contracted while serving in the military and my father served in WW 2 and Korea. My brother is a Viet Nam vet and my son in law served in Kuwait and Afghanistan.

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  17. What a wonderful post. Your father was very handsome, but he looks so young there. We attended a local service yesterday, and I will observe the two minutes silence this morning.
    My grandmother's first husband was killed at the Somme in 1916. I am always aware that if it weren't for his sacrifice, I wouldn't be here today.

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  18. We should always give thanks and remember those like your dad who gave so much for us, and those who are still giving of themselves for our safety. Your dad was obviously a wonderful man. Thank you for sharing his story. xx

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  19. A lovely post on Armistice Day, As you know from my post we were at a service at Guildford Cathedral yesterday. At 11am today I will have a quiet two minutes silence at home alone. As you know we lost a couple of family members this year so I will be remembering them too and the close family left behind. Jackie in Surrey UK.

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  20. You have a proud heritage in preserving freedom for all of us! The only way we can help the service people who suffer PTS is by showing our appreciation. You have done this with your post.

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  21. I am not from a military family but my gratitude is there for the many who served and sacrificed for our freedom. It sounds like you do a lot more where you live to remember than we do here. Our flag will be flying and we will remember ...

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  22. So thankful for all those who served!

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  23. My parents both served in the Royal Air Force in WW2 and actually while serving during those terrible war years, they were married on November 11, 1942. For me, today's date has always been so memorable in many ways.
    Thankful for all service people in so many countries who have made our freedom possible.

    Mary X

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  24. Hi Pamela,
    I have two nephews who are currently serving and a brother in law who served, I'm not sure of the dates of his service.
    I am very grateful for what they have done and for the sacrifice they have made. I am not happy with the way veterans are treated once they return from overseas, I think there is a lot of work that needs to be done on that end.
    Have a good day! Cindy

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  25. That's amazing that your father served in both wars! My dad served in the Second World War. Soldiers bear many scars, not all physical. My dad never liked to talk about it.

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  26. What a beautiful post! and your dad was a handsome young soldier! You must be proud and what a great thing to have his letters saved for you to read.....We won't forget! Thanks for sharing :)

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  27. My father served in WWII but never spoke about it -- they truly were of the greatest generation. Bless your father for his honorable service. xo

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  28. That is quite a sacrifice that your father made to serve in both those wars. What a handsome young man. Only 16 when he started his service! So glad he made it back from both wars. How special to have letters and to know that these brave young men were honored by the people they helped. What good memories of his service you have...
    Our Son in law is serving in Afghanistan with the Marine Corp. My father in law served in WWII in New Guinea. My daughter and I will wear our poppies as we go out and about today...

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  29. Love the picture and story about your Dad...
    You must be so darn proud, Pam..♥
    Enjoy the rest of your day...

    It is pretty darn miserable here...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  30. Lovely tribute to your war veteran father. I had an uncle who served in the Korean War, but never talked about it much, when he did it was a rough experience for him. So much respect for those brave men and woman who serve our countries. Diane

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  31. So many comments . . . . thank you, Pam, for an excellent post. Today is my fathers birthdate . . . he was MIA in WWII at Tarawa. Today I celebrate gratitude for those who came home.

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  32. Very very thoughtful, Pam.. We are so blessed.. xo

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  33. What a wonderful tribute to him and his service... Thank you for remembering and honoring our veterans today.

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  34. Oh Pamela - what a beautiful tribute and what an amazing Father - sadly none of my family members that fought spoke a word about it - nor did John's - so I have no first account stories...............
    Much love,
    XOXO

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  35. Pamela,

    A heart felt, emotionally stirring tribute to your dear father, who, like so many thousands of men and women, braved their lives to keep our country safe and free. I enjoyed your personal account of the day's memorials and services, and I truly wish that I could have been in Toronto to attend local ones. A beautiful post. Thank you.

    Lest we forget.

    xo
    Poppy

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  36. Hey Pamela… This is a wonderful post and so heartfelt on this day of Remembrance… I wish we could implement more Canadian History into the schools so that the children truly know their past and the efforts of these brave men and women. Thanks You for sharing…Hugs

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  37. Hi Pamela,
    Thank you so much for sharing your father's story with us and reminding us all of the sacrifices he and his generation ...our fathers...made for us. They truly earned the honor of being remembered as "The Greatest Generation". You are so lucky to have your father's letters...what a treasure for your family.
    Cheryl

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  38. How fortunate to have a copy of that letter Pamela. Really lucky for you. I never got to know my grandfather. He served in WW1 but died upon return from Mustard gas poisoning. It is amazing how lucky we are when I think of his story. It meant that my own father had to quite school at a young age to help out on the farm since both his brothers were younger than him. We don't really know much about that kind of tragedy. Certainly I do not feel that I do.
    What a lovely tribute and post Pamela.

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  39. Thanks for sharing Pamela. You must be so proud of your dad, not because of the war but just for the man in him. I hear it in your voice (words).

    I attend a ceremony somewhere on the Island each year as well. This year it was rainy and cold and dreary, a good example to give us a little taste of conditions while we take silence. I don't usually go into stores before November 11th because I think out of respect we should hold off on the decorating and Christmas. Now, watch out! I'm planning my Christmas door and I have already put up my tree even though it is wee.

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