The cold wind and pelting rain drove the memory of wars fought and won deep into my soul. It was Remembrance Day, the 11th day of the 11th month at 11th hour, when all the world declared that The Great War was done with, the “boys” could come home, and the world would finally be at rest.
I was Bugler at the War Monument that day and I listened intently to the hymn “Abide with Me” as sung by the thoughtful crowd. I closed my eyes in reverence for the prayers offered by the humble clergy. And I focused my ears on the names being read of fallen sons who paid the ultimate price so that liberty could raise her iron hand and peace could flourish from sea to shining sea.
An old comrade, himself worn and torn by battle, stood to face the assemblage and uttered the Ode to Remembrance from Laurence Binyon‘s poem “For the Fallen”, which was first published in The Times in September 1914:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Suddenly, it was time. I lifted the bugle to my lips and blew out the tones that signaled Good Night and Good Morning to military personnel everywhere. I played taps as expertly and with as much emotions I could muster! They needed to be good; they gave so it could be grand!
I have given you a glimpse of a Canadian Remembrance Day ceremony. It’s held in November each year and mirrors our time in May on Memorial Day. Please find time this weekend to get alone and pray to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that this United States can achieve her destiny free from the tyranny that threatens yet our world. And should you see an old vet marching or riding in a parade, approach him and shake her hand and let them know that you will never forget what they did for this nation and for you.