Thursday, November 8, 2012

I will never "Opt Out" of Remembrance Day

So today I woke up and do what I usually do which is have a sip of morning coffee and check my "Thank A Soldier Facebook page & Twitter" 

The first thing I see is a post someone had put up that said "Schools Allow Students Choice Of Attending Remembrance Day Services"  and the first thought that came to my mind was "Disgusting" and I posted it on our page.  A variant of comments started to come in but I removed the post after as the messages turned in to some racial slurs, assumptions and personal attacks.

For me growing up I used to look forward to the Remembrance Day Ceremonies and listening to the Veterans speak, as the years went on and we got some new technologies I looked forward to a video being played, I remember every year as plain as day tearing up during the moment of silence as I thought about all the men and women who gave their lives for my freedom.

Last year my niece who attends a public school named after a famous WW2 battle, wrote down her thoughts as part of a class assignment  

She says "In the video my eyes were watery" and I was instantly taken back to my childhood Remembrance Day Ceremony. 

Someone commented on our the Facebook post earlier saying 

"Remembrance Day is nothing but a celebration of WAR" 

well it's not a CELEBRATION of War. It is a way to pay respects to the people who gave their lives for this country, to show Veterans that we are thankful for their sacrifices and efforts to protect us and our way of life.

I also saw this written on a friends page today and asked permission to share it : 

"I just got back from the Remembrance Day at the girls’ school, and it got me thinking  I want Remembrance Day to mean more than just a ceremony to my kids, and to be more than just saying a poem about some poppies. And I want that day to be special, to actually be about remembering. To say that Remembrance Day should be about working for peace is all well and good, but you can work for peace every other day of the year. I want this one day – just one day – to be about simply remembering. Honestly, given what those in the service and their families deal with, I don’t think that having one day that is for remembering and not dedicated to anything else is not too much to ask."  - Kira Olfert-Knudsen

Midway through my day I log in to Twitter and see that "Remembrance Day" is trending so I thought to myself wow maybe that's a good sign, then however I start to read posts like this : 

Another few that have since been deleted said 
"Remembrance Day - Lets have a moment of silence for Michael & Whitney" #Gonetoosoon 

"I'm not going to this years Remembrance Day Ceremony it's always the same old shit"
Well that's a good thing it means no rockets have come crashing down through your school gymnasium nor do you have to worry about stepping on an IED on the way back from recess no?  

At this point I kinda like it when "Remembrance Day" wasn't trending and decided to log out of Twitter for the day and then checked my "Thank A Soldier" email inbox, where I received these drawings done by children aged 3-4 and that quickly turned things around.: 

Yes this post is a little all over the place but so has been the case with my mind and emotions today in reading all these posts & comments.  I know myself I will never "Opt-Out" of attending a Remembrance Day ceremony as long as I'm alive and be there on the 11th hour to pay my respects to those who have given me my freedoms I enjoy. 


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