Friday, November 12, 2010

Service 'Round the Cenotaph


I remember the times when our son served with Air Cadets in the overnight vigil preceding the Remembrance Day parade and service in Kitchener. Sometimes frosty. Sometimes rainy. The kids took shifts at posting the various cenotaph locations overnight.

A warm breakfast followed the uncommon night and cadets suited up in full for the parade. Community bands would accompany the march through the downtown. Very old veterans participated with pride and tearful nostalgia. At the cenotaph various groups presented wreaths. The trumpet last post was sounded. The moment's silence observed. The pastor's message of hope and thanksgiving and empathy for those continuing in hazardous service.

All tremendously good experience and outlook for the cadets. The cold night a vivid reminder of life and responsibility in the trenches. The fellowship with the veterans in the parade and after-reception unforgetttable.

And that is what it is all about...not forgetting. The evil capability in the heart of man. The vain agendas of unchecked nationalism. The vulnerability of our life's walk. The worth of a real and true friend. The dark night when God appears. The hardships bravely faced by our forbears for sake of the oppressed and freedom.

How could the exercise ever be perceived as out-dated? Admittedly most of the vets from the two Great Wars are gone. (This year my own Father.) But the issues are still with us.

It remains most fitting that at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day in the eleventh month all machines, cash registers, vehicles, offices and classrooms should come to a moment of pause, silence, thanksgiving and reflection.

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