There’s a house, not far from mine, that is painted in tribute to the Canadian Air Force. Consider the commitment you have to feel to do this. Your neighbours would be in an uproar because of the perceived property value concerns, yet, your desire to commemorate outweighs what *they* think. I walk past that house several times a day as I walk my dog, and I think about this every time. What dedication you must feel to make that kind of statement.
I’ve written previously about Last Post Ceremonies at Menin Gate, and how there has been a ceremony there for Canadian soldiers every day for over 100 years. I think often about the commitment the people of Ypres show, to soldiers dead longer than they’ve been alive. I’ve written about Givenchy-en-Gohelle, near Vimy Ridge, that decks out the entire village with Canada flags. I won’t forget how gracious and grateful those people were. And how dedicated.
I’ve written previously about the Remembrance Vigils held at cenotaphs around Canada. In Cambridge, we are a combined city of the villages of Galt, Hespeler, and Preston. We have three cenotaphs. I have been to services in Galt and Hespeler, and I visited the cadets on vigil in Hespeler. The cenotaph closest to me, is the one I have never attended for Remembrance Day services, and this year, alas, won’t be the first. But I walk past it every night. Tonight, as I walked past, there was a bearded man sitting on a bench beside the square. I asked him if he was holding vigil tonight. He said that since cadets were unable to attend, he would take the shift for them. I had to take a moment. He was so earnest. He saw a duty to be fulfilled, and he was equal to the task.
Friends, we know the level of dedication it takes to sign a contract to defend your country and Queen. Perhaps some of us can’t understand where that wellspring originates. Perhaps we can only admire those who also see a duty to be fulfilled, and are equal to the task. Perhaps we have also found ourselves equal, in our time.
So today, for the next 24 hours, find your own way to be dedicated to the Canadian Armed Forces.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them