REMEMBRANCE DAY IN THE TIME OF THE PANDEMIC

WORLD WAR TWO ended September 2nd, 1945.   That year winter came early to my home town of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.  On November 11th with my classmates we walked in bitter cold  the two miles from school to attend the Remembrance Day ceremonies at  the Armouries.    For the first time in seventy five years I will not  attend a Remembrance Day ceremony.  We will watch the laying of wreaths on television and then my husband and I will place our poppies on the Cenotaph  in our village of Ladner, British Columbia.

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If I should die, think only this of me:

That there’s some corner of a foreign field

That is forever England.  There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed:

Gave,  once,  her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

A body of England’s, breathing English air,

Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home

 

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And think, this heart,all evil shed away,

A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given,

Her signs and sounds; dream happy as her day;

And laughter, learnt of friends;  and gentleness,

In hearts at peace,  under an English heaven.

 

My father-in-law  grew up in a quiet town in Southern Ontario.  He enlisted and his training as a flight sergeant took place in an equally small town in Saskatchewan.  This is where he met and married.    He returned from the war to live t he rest of his life in    Saskatchewan.  He is survived by his two sons.

 

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My uncle,  Bertram Henry Henderson grew up in my home town, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.  He and his two brothers all enlisted in the Regina Rifles.  He died in action October 27, 1944.  His last letter home was dated October 27, 1944.  It was written in the dim light of a candle in a bottle.  The letter was in his effects returned to the family.

 

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My older sister and myself with my Uncle shortly before he was shipped overseas.

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This document shows the location of his grave in Belgian.  It also identifies the family who would be responsible for the maintenance and care of his grave site.

 

 

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Our Uncle’s grave continues to be looked after by the Belgian Family entrusted in their care more than 70 years ago.  Members of that family continue to maintain contact with our family.

 

My father grew up in a small village in southern England.  He fought in the war to end all wars (World War One).  When war ended he immigrated to Canada to join his older brothers in Northern Saskatchewan.  The only time he talked about the war  was to tell us how  he had befriended some Turkish prison of war soldiers and they had taught him  to make Turkish coffee.

Today we fight a grim and different war.    There are no battlefields.  The enemy is unseen.  If we follow  the health protocol that has been given us we will win this battle.

 

 

 

(  poem  … The Soldier – Rupert Brooke)

A DREAM OF SCARLET POPPIES

 

BEL’OCCHIO   … the beautiful eye

A DREAM OF SCARLET POPPIES

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“Many scarlet poppies

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blossomed all about across the meadows

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that were so brilliant in colour

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they almost dazzled Dorothy’s eyes.

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“Aren’t theybeautiful?” the girl asked,

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as she breathed in the spicy scent

of the beautiful flowers.”

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She put aside the book of Oz.

Plundered her garden of poppies.

Filled the rooms with scarlet memories.

And said, “there’s no place like home”.

(Words from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – 1900 – words by the author  L. Frank Baum..  Flowers from my garden picked this glorious day.)

THIS MORNING IN MY GARDEN

Last July this exquisite  deeply ruffled poppy appeared in my flower bed.  It was a volunteer.  I hadn’t seen it in any of the neighbor’s gardens.   It  was a marvelous gift that  I eagerly anticipated its return  this summer.    Thank you, thank you mysterious poppy.

Mysterious poppy picture taken 7 a.m July 3, 2011

SUNDAY MORNING IN THE GARDEN

 

 

Early morning.   It’s very quiet, very calm.  Air fragrant, music filled with bird song.   Around me the fields are soft and brown,  seeds planted, waiting.  I’ve taken my cup of cafe au lait,  a pile of cook-books, and pajama clad I start  my day.

 

 

Poppies blooming at 7:00 am, Sunday June 26, 2011