“He is not missing, He is here”
~ Field Marshal Lord Plumer at the unveiling of the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing 24th July 1927
I am the first generation in my family that hasn’t served, fought or died for this country…
It’s not a big deal, something that gets talked about alot. Just something I noticed about a decade ago while working on a November 11th project with the kids.
When it comes to mind lately, the thought is even more poignant…
Some of the children who went to school at the same time, who made the construction paper poppies and sang John Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance” at the Remembrance Day assembly – “my kids” – are part of the Canadian Forces currently in Afghanistan.
Boggles the mind. The “War To End All Wars” has come and gone and still, the world fights on.
I doubt that anyone my age truly believes that there’ll be a time when there is no more war. It’s a sad and unfortunate truth that the world has become more violent, the rhetoric more virulent and the willful blindness and stupidity just never changed at all.
My hope for Remembrance Day is that in speaking openly about the human face of war, by celebrating the huge victories for peace and freedom that past generations won and supporting the people who continue fighting for all of us today; we’ll all remember that the simple, sometimes mundane reality of our everyday lives is actually a gift.
That people just like us, left everything they hold dear, fought, were wounded and died. It crystallizes the concept of one person making a difference and how when all those individuals consolidate their efforts for such an honourable cause, just how much can be achieved.
Look around you Canada, the spirit of Remembrance Day is with us every day.
Great Great Grandpa Carey James Tupper – The Boer War
Great Grandpa Carey Tupper – killed in action 2 June 1916, WWI, Ypres
Great Grandpa Thomas Howell Thomas – wounded in action 1917, WWI, Passchendaele
Great Grandpa James Harris Thorpe – Canadian Merchant Marine WWII, Atlantic Theatre
Great Uncle Bill Thorpe – Canadian Merchant Marine WWII, Atlantic Theatre
Great Auntie Jean – 2nd Lieutenant during World War Two, Commemorative Medal of the Confederation of Canada
Great Uncle Clayton Thorpe – Canadian Armed Forces WWII, Italy, France, Belgium, liberation of Germany
My Dad Earl C. Tupper – Canadian Armed Forces
Grandpa William C. Collins – Canadian Air Force and Corps of Engineers, WWII
Thank you to “My Kids”, Canadian Armed Forces, currently serving in Afghanistan. I won’t call you out here but I better see you soon!