I can remember many times as a child reciting the poem written by a Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. I could always remember “In Flander’s Fields the poppies blow, between the crosses row by row…..” And that was it. For whatever reason I could never retain the whole poem. Year after year in elementary school we would write it out, or colour pictures, or make cool display boards for Remembrance Day, but the whole poem didn’t stick.
I am of the age, (lets not get into that) where I can remember hearing stories of World War 2 and my Dad’s memories, and even some stories from World War 1 passed on through people about my two grandfathers. I was always amazed that they did what they did, but I didn’t have a clue, really, what it all meant. I knew it was because of people like my Dad and millions of others that we live here, free. I grew up during many other conflicts – Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and many others, but none of them touched my life like my Dad and the second world war.
Maybe one of the reasons Flander’s field never stuck in my head as a whole is because I didn’t really understand. Today, around us we are touched by the lives of many who serve for our freedom. Freedom in country, freedom to walk down the street, freedom to travel and so on. There are wars around us that are seen and unseen. Police, ambulance, fire, search and rescue and all first responders of all kinds work everyday for our freedom to live in a free country. We have soldiers that are training right now in our country, and others that are deployed to many place in our world. They not only serve at war, but during natural disasters and protection of officials. How can we even begin to thank all of these people for what they have given and will give in our life time?
Respect. Sounds easy doesn’t it, well, for most of us the respect of a soldier or of police, etc comes easy on Remembrance day. What about when pulled by the police, or have to pay for the ambulance ride, or have to wait in traffic as they are dealing with an accident, or police incident. Respectful then? How often have our kids heard derogatory comments come from our mouths, that, in just a few words can influence disrespect that filters to their lives. Without these individuals our freedom is compromised, messed up and not freedom.
When you see a soldier, a veteran, a police officer, a fire man, search and rescue, ambulance attendant, stop and say thanks. I have done that over the years and the gratitude they have that for one minute in time they are appreciated seems to lift their spirits. You don’t have to remember the poem in Flander’s field, but please take a few minutes to stop on Nov 11 at 11 and be thankful. Next time you see one of these folks, thank them. Encourage them and Pray for safety for them and for their families. You just never know who you may encourage enough to help them face another day protecting our freedom.
Lest we forget….. freedom, ………..
Love, Hugs N Prayers