Several years ago, my husband, our daughter, my father, my late mother and I attended the annual Remembrance Day service in our nation’s capital, Ottawa.
My parents were returning to Toronto via Ottawa from Halifax where they had been involved with the celebrations pertaining to the “Year of the War Bride”.
In 1945, my father Bruce, a Canadian soldier, married my mother Kathleen, an English war bride. They would spend 63 years together as a couple until my mom passed away on December 20, 2008.
On that day in Ottawa, I was so touched by the speeches, the laying of the wreaths, the music and the turn out of veterans, their families and others who wanted to pay their respects to those who had served their nation.
My dad, unfortunately, had a weak spell and had to make a trip in the middle of the ceremonies to the bus manned by the paramedics. As we walked by the throngs of people crowding the streets, men women and children began to clap.
They were honouring an elderly gentleman, my father, who worked for justice in a world fractured by strife and pain.
They began to clap, and I was stunned. Surely this was one of the most overwhelming moments of my life.
At this time of year, we remember. We wear a poppy and hold onto hope for peace for all people.
We remember the sacrifice of those who lost lives, limbs, liveliness or loved ones in war or peacekeeping.
We ask God to teach us to remember and mourn with hope, Christ’s hope, which lives in and for this world–until the last trumpet sounds, and our lives are measured by the compassion we have lived.
May the response we make to any who suffer from violence and war be counted as repentance in God’s reign.
Today, we remember. We remember these beautiful words from a wonderful hymn: Let there be light, let there be understanding. Let all the nations gather, let them be face to face.
May we as God’s peacemakers and peacekeepers bring light to others. May we listen to our neighbours and may they listen to us.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with each one of us. May God guide us as we ever seek justice, love, kindness and walk humbly with Him.
And on November 11th–Remember!!