Remembrance Day 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how we pay tribute this year to veterans past and present. It hasn’t diminished the significance of November 11th to Canadians and others around the globe, and our desire to honour those who served.

Across the country, the Royal Canadian Legion launched its annual Poppy Campaign in late October. We usually pick up a pin from a volunteer or business, and make a donation. The donations are used to support veterans and their families, and the Legion reported that, during its most recently reported campaign year, 2018, in excess of $15 million was disbursed to veterans and their families between October 2018 and 2019.

This year, with it being impractical for most volunteers to take up their usual positions, the Legion published a list of businesses that made poppies available by donation to their customers. If you typically make a donation and haven’t yet this year, you may want to consider checking out the Legion’s online and other donation options.

With people everywhere advised to pay their respects away from crowds and the formal Remembrance Day ceremonies, I have no photos of the 2020 ceremonies. Instead, I’ll share a photo and some music from a past ceremony at Vancouver’s Victory Square.

Bagpipers and drummers are very much a part of these occasions. The bagpipes always provoke a visceral reaction in me, but I find The Sands of Kuwait particularly touching. Click below to listen to, and feel, this piece.

IN FLANDERS FIELDS

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.

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.

John-McRae-WWI-Photographer-Unknown

John McRae, the Canadian doctor who penned In Flanders Fields

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