Wednesday, 11 November 2015

I Will Remember

Photo Cred: Tim Armstrong

On November 11th, here in Canada and all over the world, we stop. 


We are still. 

We remember.


We remember the freedom we have today because of the sacrifices of those who came before. 

Spending a year in Dunkirk, France at the age of seventeen was an incredible learning experience in itself (my first French phrase was "Ça ira mieux demain." Google it), but one of my most vivid memories is the week my dad visited from Canada. 

We toured EVERY war monument and cemetery in northern France and Belgium, when all I really wanted to do was see Mont Saint Michel (we did that too). 

Despite my moody teenage self, I was overwhelmed by the care and reverence toward Canadians evident in each of these sacred places. I was stunned by the sheer number of graves and the painstaking lists of soldiers sacrificed that scrolled on and on. 

In 2009, Nathan and I went back to France and Belgium. We caught up with good friends and we spent time on the landing beaches of Dunkirk and at Passchendaele, near Ypres, Belgium.

In Canada, I am not surrounded by concrete reminders of horrific battles and hard-won wars, but I can choose to remember.

Lest we forget.

Ne les oubliez pas.


View from a Nazi concrete bunker of one of the Dunkirk Landing Beaches, 2009


Nathan exploring Nazi war bunkers, Dunkirk, 2009


Passchendaele Wall of Remembrance, 2009


Passchendaele Cemetery, 2009


4 comments:

  1. I dream of visiting those places some day, ideally when the kids are older and can understand the importance. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your kids are going to be blown away. There is just so much to see and learn. The Normandy American War Cemetery is the most incredible thing I have ever seen. It's what is pictured at the beginning of "Saving Private Ryan". It's on a cliff overlooking the beaches and meticulously maintained.

      I also love the idea of the History study tours for Histoire 20. I think that would be such an incredible trip with students.

      Delete
  2. A quick correction, the top picture was taken at the Field of Honour in the Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery in Regina.
    http://www.regina.ca/residents/cemeteries/veterans-section/

    ReplyDelete

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