Marja-Leena Rathje
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Wear White Poppies for a culture of peace

Today on Remembrance Day in Canada

Many thanks to wood s lot who always finds such treasures

UPDATE: 8:30 pm. I've just been reading a lovely post about Remembrance Day as experienced by an American now living in Vancouver. I didn't know that the Market at Granville Island observes this day by publicly asking everyone to "observe 2 minutes of silence in remembrance of the soldiers who had died in the past World Wars." I don't know if many stores do this as I don't seem to shop on this day.

This brought back memories of school days too long ago when we had to go to school on the morning of Remembrance Day to attend an hour of service. Various speeches, and maybe films were followed by two minutes of silence, then the slow call of a bugle would follow, which always made my skin crawl and emotions swell. Nowadays school kids have a service the day before so they can have a full day of holiday.

Anyway, this brings up a perfect opportunity to introduce Loud Murmurs which I've been reading with pleasure for some time, almost since blogger David Drucker and his wife decided to leave the US and move to Vancouver. He's written about the many trials preparing and then moving, finding a home and jobs and about his experiences living in another culture. It's always interesting to me to read about how a newcomer to this city and country views life here.

ADDENDUM Nov.12, 10:30 pm: If you haven't already, please read the first comment below. It's a moving and lovely poem written by a very good online friend of mine. Roger gave me a little more information about it today that I wish to share with readers that may be interested in it...

Roger's Uncle Curt was with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) in Japan during WW II when a small troupe of Japanese engaged them while they were trying to get some prisoners released. This is when this remarkable incident occurred. Years later, in his last days before passing away, Curt wrote down this story on a piece of scrap paper. It was amongst several things Roger inherited from his uncle. This is Roger's little Remembrance Day tribute to his Uncle Curt, based on that story.

Marja-Leena | 11/11/2006 | 5 comments
themes: Culture, History


I approached the enemy face-to-face. Our weapons pointed at each other. Who will perish, him or I, we must have thought about our Mother; who does not want us to die. I dropped my rifle on the ground and placed my right hand over my heart. He stared at me as I offered my hand, a sign of peace without command. He dropped his rifle then grasped my hand. I reached in my pocket to show him a picture of my child, and he did likewise, he too was proud. We smiled together then gave a bow. Not a word was spoken and we walked away, peace had touch us for just one day. For those who chose to do the same, be proud because they have a name, but never asked for any fame.

Roger, that's a lovely poem. I wish it were reality.

I always enjoyed the Remembrance Day ceremonies throughout school. I think elementary school was more WWII-focussed, and high school more WWI, maybe due to how long ago they were and what we studied. Anyway. It was always full of story-telling, like the one about the girl with the paper crane post-Hiroshima, and in high school we had short plays. I kind of miss it now.

Roger, this is a lovely! It made me think: what if every soldier in every armed force, navy, air, every suicide bomber, guerrilla fighter etc. etc. stopped and refused to raise arms and fight and kill? Wouldn't that be the greatest revolution on earth? Then every leader of every country would have to find a new and pacific way of getting what they want. What a dream! (I haven't had my beakfast and tea yet, so I must still be asleep.)

Erika, I wish my schoolday Remembrances had been as interesting and inspiring as yours.

That's a lovely story/poem. Thanks for the background info, M-L.

MB, glad you enjoyed it. I was pleased that Roger shared the background of such an amazing story.