Saturday, November 5, 2011

Remembrance Day/Veteran's Day

Remembrance Day/Veteran's Day is fast approaching. It was always a day that we cherished when I was a child growing up. We wore our beautiful red poppy pins on our coat lapels for a few weeks before the actual day, and, on the actual day, all participated in a parade that ended at the legion. More about the legion in a bit.

My elementary and junior high school was called John Bernard Croak, Victoria Cross Memorial school. You can read more about John Bernard Croak here. And I hope that you will. Although he was born in Newfoundland, an island near Cape Breton Island, his family moved to Cape Breton Island when he was two. He was raised in the same town I was raised. The legion in that home town is also named in his honour.

The Victoria Cross was the highest reward received from the British Commonwealth for "gallantry in the face of the enemy". Please read his story here. His Wikipedia entry is not very long, although I wish it was longer.

Several times during my 10yrs of service in the Canadian Forces I served cenotaph duty at several Remembrance Day ceremonies. Cenotaph duty requires the soldier to stand at attention, head pointing down, hands resting flat on the butt of your weapon, barrel resting on the toe of the boot. And you don't move or blink. And you stay that way for the entire ceremony - whether it is an hour long or three hours long. And it is not easy to stay in that position without wavering. And you cry. When you see WWI vets placing their wreathes, you cry. And when you peak out of the corner of your eye and see WWII vets placing their wreathes, you cry. And when you see vets from the Korean, Vietnamese, Somalia, Serbia-Croatia, Gulf War I, etc. lay their wreathes, you cry. And when you see family members of fallen comrades lay their wreathes, you cry. And when you peak at big, strong soldiers in the crowd crying, you cry. In fact, I think that must be what cenotaph duty is about.

Anyway, I will be posting several Remembrance Day posts over the next few days up to November 11. Remembrance Day was important as a child and it was important as a soldier. It is still important as a veteran. It is important to all Canadians.

To all of those serving, or who have served, we will never forget. To all of my Canadian comrades, both serving, have served, living or dead, I salute you.

I have a few American veterans who read this blog. And I would like to dedicate this post to them. For being such good friends. And for serving. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your service.

17 comments:

  1. Thank you kymber, most of the fellows in my family were military men and one sister in law. I honor all of you,

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  2. Thank you, for your service,Kymber :)Veterans' Day has always been a special day for me-everyone in my family has either served in the military or is married to one who has served. Rick says thank you for your service! I will be posting about this day as well. Hugs from New Hampshire!

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  3. Mr. Smythe - always an honour when you stop by. Bless you, too, Sir.

    Mamma Bear - you are so very welcome! i thank all of your family members for their service.

    Donna - thank you very much! i thank all of your family members for their service!Rick honours me with that thank you - please thank him FOR his incredible sacrifice and his service. i look forward to your post! and hugs right back at you Donna!

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  4. Stephen, thank you. you know how much i mean that.

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  5. What a cool cookie you are. ;) Loved this post. I hope yesterday was very special for you.

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  6. Thanks Kymber... I look forward to more of your Remembrance day Posts...

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  7. Thanks Kymber for your service to Canada. I have many friends and family that served in the military. What did you do in the military?

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  8. Damn I would cry too if they made me mess up the spit shine, the drill sergeants beat into my skill set, that I had worked into the toe of my corcorans with the muzzle of a FN-FAL. Or did you use a parade Enfield for that ceremony?

    What a fun post!!!

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  9. Joey - Remembrance Day/Veteran's Day isn't until November 11....but thanks so much for stopping by!

    JUGM - thanks a bunch. i have a few more special posts coming up until the 11th of November!

    Rob - thank you and you are very welcome. How honoured are you to have friends and family who served. i was a Communications Researcher MOC 291 (we were called rubber heads by other trades). in my field, after 3 yrs in the trade you specialized either in signals development or linguistics. i took the route of linguistics even though i wanted to follow both streams of specialization. i was one of the first 4 korean linguists trained in the canadian forces and spent much of my military career down in the states for specialized training.

    PioneerP - yep - you got it - that's why we cried - totally messed up our parade boots!!! and dude - we were trained on FN-C1's. i pray that you have never heard of that weapon let alone been near one. and THAT'S what i held up on the toe of my boot for all of my Remembrance Day Ceremonies. it wasn't until 1995-1996 that we got the C7's - oh don't get me started on those!

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  10. Thank you for your service as well kymber! My fondest memories of Veteran's Day are all the cool Flags and Guidon's that flew that day together. I guess it brought home the message that all the services fought as one and its not just the individual components.

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  11. mmasse - growing up, i didn't see any Guidons flying but i most certainly did during my years of service! thank you so much for your comment!

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  12. My mother was a veteran of WWII; my brother served in the Air Force as did my niece. And my deceased brother was born on Veteran's Day.

    I would have been like Goldie Hawn, "I want to wear my sandals." .....From Private Benjamin.

    Kymber, thank you for your service.

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  13. PracticalP - you are too funny - bahahahah! but i loved that movie! you must be very proud of your mother's service - not many women served in WWII! and also proud of your brother and neice!

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  14. Veterans day isn't even here. And, already, a few tears have fallen. I want to thank ALL of you that have served. And god bless you all.

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  15. Flier389 - you are always such a gentleman! thank you, Sir!

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