More than Remembrance

In November 2014 we visited New Zealand and Australia, and attended a Remembrance Day service in Auckland. Hearing In Flanders Field that far from home put a chill down my back.

Text of "In Flanders Fields" from John McCrae statue.
Ottawa Memorial to John McCrae

In Melbourne a few weeks later we heard a quintessentially Australian story about WWI, and saw how they keep alive the memory of ANZAC.

Concluding text at ANZAC Memorial that sums up its meaning for Australians and New Zealanders.This summer, while clearing out the papers and keepsakes accumulated by my mother over her 96 years, we found a newspaper published in Standard AB at the end of WWII.

Prayer for peace at end of WWII, printed in rural Alberta newspaper

Today we remember those who sacrificed, fought, and died not just in WWII but in all wars. Theirs be the honour indeed.

But I must do more than remember.

I must do my part to fulfill that prayer, by taking the actions I can, where and as I am, to help build a prosperous, progressive, intelligent and united world.




  1. Watched on CBC the ceremony yesterday — all those veterans marching was touching. AND they really knew how to march, eh? even the one with the limp. I guess keeping step that was Army 101. Apparently marching is very therapeutic. And did you know bagpipes were used during battles as they apparently eased the pain of wounds sustained in battle.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Barbara – Re the bagpipes: Easing one pain by causing another? 🙂 Sort of like taking someone’s mind off their troubles by stepping on their foot? I heard that they were used to frighten the enemy away.

  2. Barry

    On Friday I had the honour of attending a Remembrance Service at an elementary school. The speaker was a father, 18 years service in places like Afghanistan, etc. My son-in-law.

    His comment that really struck home was that we need to remember all those that sacrificed by volunteering and those who stayed home and also sacrificed. By mainly, we need to remember what led to the war and try and find a way not to follow.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Barry – I sometimes wonder whether it’s the distance in time that makes WWII look so necessary, so clear. I understand that it wasn’t necessarily so at the time – not even in Britain, and definitely not in America. As for the wars we get into now and have been for the last 50 years, so many are wars as proxies for direct conflict between world powers. It’s an imperfect world, to be sure.

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