Lest We Forget - It's Not Just a Cliche

Far too often our busy lives cause us to forget some of the things that are important.  It's understandable.  There are the deadlines at work, the kids soccer, the baby shower, music lessons, and a thousand other things to do and remember.  While, we can be forgiven if we sometimes forget about the enormous sacrifice made by those who gave everything so we can do all of those things, in peace, once a year (at least) we need to stop......and reflect......and remember.

On the north side of Memorial Dr. N.W., just west of Centre St. is a park.  Each year from November 1st to November 12th, the Field of Crosses Memorial Project places over 3,000 crosses with the name, age, rank, regiment and date of death of soldiers from southern Alberta who have died while in the service of Canada.  If you haven't seen it, or been there, it really is something to see.  And quite moving.  Here is an excerpt from their web site.

It's the Soldier, not the Reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.

It's the Soldier, not the Poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.

It's the Soldier, not the Politician, that ensures our right to Life,
Liberty & the Security of the Person.

It's the Soldier, not the Campus Organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.

It's the Soldier, not the Lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It's the Soldier, not the Preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.

It's the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, whose coffin
is draped by the flag and who allows the protestor to burn the flag.

I know you are busy.  I know there are important things to do.  But, I urge you, If you can, make the time, take the kids, take a break from the everyday grind and go down to the Field of Crosses.  If you are unable to do that, at least stop......for a moment.....on Monday the 11th and wonder what would life be like today if it weren't for the soldiers past and present, who gave everything.  I can't imagine.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae


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