Tuesday, November 18, 2008

With the Cross of Jesus...

On Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 I had the privilege of attending a Remembrance Day service with my Dad. Amanda, Trenton and Jocelyn were there, too. When my children were younger and we were heavy into our homeschooling years, I would always make sure we attended the service and spent the day with Mom and Dad and other veterans. My parents are both WWII veterans.

Dad was in the Royal Marines and Mom was a VAD in the navy and she was also in the ATS (Auxilary Territorial Service). When we attended this special day with my parents each November, we went not to celebrate war, but rather to celebrate life and freedom. We were grateful for the sacrifices that my parents and others made so that we can live in the true north strong and free. We all learned so much about people and attitudes and about both the heartaches and the victories of war every time we went. We heard the stories and shared in some of the memories.

Amanda and Trevor always enjoyed going and they particulary enjoyed going to the auditorium at the Parkwood Veteran's Hospital and sharing fellowship, cake and stories with many veterans.

(PHOTO: Dad [with the eye patch] and some of his Royal Marine Buddies at the cenotaph in London, Ontario on November 11th, 2008)

I remember the Mountie in full dress. Trevor thought the big man in red was so tall. He was compared to Trev, at the time. Now I am sure my sweet long-legged 6'3" son would tower over him. I think being there every year helped foster a respect and appreciation for what some of these men and women went through so many years ago.

(PHOTO: Amanda and Trevor 1992 at the Parkwood Veteran's Hospital in London. Visiting with Staff Sgt. James)

Life is fleeting, so I have discovered. I have nothing to complain about in my situation when I really stop and take stock. At least I never had to stare down the barrel of a gun or fear that I may tread on a landmine. I never had to worry how to stretch out rations to feed my family, nor did I have to hurry them to a bomb shelter or feel sick as the sirens blared for the third time in one day.

Dad and I were actually interviewed for the London Free Press this past Remembrance Day and the interviewer said something interesting to me. She spotted my bald head and said, "It looks like you have been fighting a battle of your own..." I thought about that comment later and I guess there is some truth to that. So if those wonderfully dedicated and decorated veterans survived and overcame their battles, then I can do it too. I'm thinking about that song again...On ward Christian Soldier, Marching off to war. With the cross of Jesus...going on before!

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