Search This Blog

Subscribe By Email

Get Blog Posts Sent by Email

About This Blog

How to Comment on Blog Posts

The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Perhaps it is because of the passing of years and my own increasing age that Remembrance Day feels closer to my heart these days. I need to remember. I want to remember.

I remember my father, a young soldier who married my mother days before he left on a ship for Europe during WWII. I remember the stories he was willing to tell; the funny incidents as well as the scary hours and months there. I remember too that there were months and years of stories he wouldn’t tell. I have always assumed that for him, they were simply too vivid and painful to recount. Having lost my Dad just two years ago, I look at his snapshots of wartime, and remember.

I remember Joan’s Grandfather; a teenage soldier in the trenches of WWI. I remember his stories of almost unbelievable horror and fear. I remember how in that theatre he cried out to a God he didn’t know, and found comfort and blessing in a Spirit he would learn more about when he, miraculously, survived. I remember the strong, faithful man of God he became, and how he blessed the church in Toronto, Ontario and beyond.

I remember Robb, a young man who is the father of some of my grandchildren, who felt the call to be a soldier. He is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in 2010. I remember and I worry.

I remember the thousands of Canadian Armed Forces personnel who have been deployed as peace keepers around the world. I am proud of them, and of our country’s peacekeeping record. I remember too, the soldiers who now serve, this time in combat roles. I think of their families, and also the people who live where they serve, in a rugged and war torn land. I remember and pray for them.

I remember too that we are called to be a peace church. I wonder how a peace church works with the dichotomy of having our countries at war, and our loved ones deployed? It is a challenge.

On Remembrance Day in 2009, there is much to remember.

How about you? What or who do you remember on this sacred, solemn day? Will you share some of your remembrances here?


  1. I always feel torn by Nov 11th. As a child, I felt it was my duty to honour those that fought and died for our country, so I could be free. As an adult...I struggle to make sense out of war....why must we always be killing each other??? As a mother of 4 sons, I would NOT want them to be serving in combat...for any reason.
    I am married to an American, who is a loving and peaceful man, who had to flee his country because of his belief in non-violence. Thankfully, his pacifist values have rubbed off on our sons.

    I am proud of my Grandfather,My Father-in-law and my Uncles who fought in the wars. But I too believe that violence is never an answer to solving a problem.

  2. Paula, I hope we never figure out how to "make sense out of war." As a teacher, years ago, I too felt conflicted over how to appropriately recognize Remembrance Day. I always felt drawn to the poem In Flanders Fields.

    I learned it along the way and often repeat it. Now I live in John McCrae's home town where we honor him all through the year.

    Whenever I repeat the poem I stop at "Take up our quarrel with the foe..." Can we not find a way not to do that while yet honouring and remembering those heroes Carman has written about.

    As we struggle to figure out how to be a "peace church" in the world these are questions we still need to work out, with God's help.

  3. Paula, It would be a wonderful world if we all came to understand that war was not the way to solve problems. I don't really expect to ever see that day, but then miracles do happen, don't they?

  4. When my son was 10 we moved near the Navel base in Hamilton. Yes there is a base in Hamilton. He seen a younge boy in a Navy Leauge uniform and said I have to have one. Later he joined the Navy. He is a Navel Combat information Operater. He interpets what is in the ocean. After many long chats he put it this way I am going to be a peace keeper. He will never pick up a gun, never hurt someone. His job is to keep his mates safe. I can not help but think the lessons he learned in this church to be peacable had a great influence on his deasire to serve he country.

  5. Susan,

    Thank you for sharing about your son and his contribution to the military and to us. The peace keeping tradition in the Canadian Military is an important perspective that we need to remember. Peace is not as easy as we would all like it to be.

  6. As you said, this day is more and more emotional and much much closer to my heart as the years go by. Today, I took three steps up onto a school bus that held the many faces of war, our Veterans who were to weak to stand through the entire ceremony at the cenotaph today. I had no idea what I was going to say .... and through the tears of gratitude, I managed to muster a shakey "Thank-you" my hands poised together and a small bow ... "Thank you, Thank you to you all" was all I could say ....On Remembrance day and with every peace prayer, I remember my grandfather who served in WWII as part of the Italian Campaign and the stories of our Canadian BOYS liberating a small town in Italy from the Germans; I remember my Grandmother who served during the same war and am grateful to have them both alive and well. I remember my Dad, who served as a UN Peacekeeper in Cyprus as a highly regarded marksman...who came back a completely different person, angry, torn and never to be the same. He passed away at the age of 34. I remember my Uncle Murray who served as a logistics coordinator in Petawawa for more than 5 years. Fortunately, he never saw active duty and now lives in the US with his lovely family. I remember every person who has served, is serving and will serve for their country, for other countries and for peace. May God bless them all.

  7. Mel,

    The stories of remembrance become very personal. I find myself humbled by people's willingness to open their hearts and share the tender memories of families, friends, and veterans who are strangers and yet somehow so personal. The sharing of these memories help each of us in our struggle to understand the relationship between war, peace, peacemaking and peacekeeping. We (perhaps I should say "I") have so much to learn about this.

    Thanks to all who have shared. Lets keep this conversation going for a while.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.