We have a ... I suppose you could call it a tradition, though that is not the right word ... here where whenever a Canadian soldier is killed, he or she is given a motorcade down the Highway of Heroes. People line the overpasses to show their respect and to welcome our dead home. While I hate the necessity, I love the practice, and it makes me proud of my home and my people that we care enough to do so.
My Grandfather was a member of the Canadian Legion (an organization to support troops and veterans and their families), because he was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces in WWII. He was honourably discharged before seeing action, because he lied about his age when he enlisted, and they found out before he was deployed into Europe. My husband is technically a vet though he also did not see action (that he admits to).
I was waiting on an overpass near a Legion hall, musing about the dwindling number of people involved in the organization when the motorcade approached and I suddenly realised that the ranks of veterans who have seen the horrors of war are growing, not dwindling. This thought was reinforced recently when I was in Florida and I saw several US servicemen, amputees, wounded, and on leave.
For me, Remembrance Day has always been about the veterans of all wars, no matter when they took place. But this year, it is also about the veterans in the making in Afghanistan and other posts. I wish health and happiness and a good day, and I wish you to know that you have my support and my thanks, but far more than that, I wish you SAFE.
I am thinking of all of you. Past, and present.