Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Cold Wind

Huddled Away from the Wind

Photo: November 11, 2016

A cold, damp wind was blowing. This squirrel took refuge at the side of a tree. I trudged on, my layers of clothing and movement keeping me warm. I met neighbours who had been to the local Remembrance Day ceremony, who stood still in this cold wind to honour those who gave their lives. I think of the younger generations where the world wars are a very distant past. Although I was born after the second world war, it was still very much present in the psyche of people around me - not ancient history. Some wars, unfortunately have to be fought. Men of my father's generation and younger knew they were fighting for the dignity of all people, for the freedom that democracy afforded, for equality of all people. Have we been conscientious keepers of these values? We must not let them be eroded but continue to honour, not just those whose lives were lost, but also to honour what they were fighting for.

I learned of the death of Leonard Cohen, whose poetry and music have been part of the soundtrack of my life. His words, his lyrics, his way of life embodied dignity and respect. I honour him and the war dead with his recitation of John McCrae's, iconic war poem, In Flanders Fields.

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