Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Off to pay my respects

I have the day off for Remembrance Day. I am going to go to the ceremony. I think it's right that banks and government shut for the day to honour the soldiers who died for our country, and the least I can do is attend the service. I hope it doesn't rain as the ceremony is outside, but even if it does, it's not like the soldiers got the day off for rain.

UPDATE:

It was such a beautiful ceremony. The skies were grey, but it didn't rain. The Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, made an incredibly powerful speech. He read an account from a soldier, who had since been killed in combat, about serving in Afghanistan. I was bawling my eyes out. He also spoke about duty, and I found it inspirational. Other people who spoke included Ontario's Lieutenant Governor, a high-ranking military official, and a veteran from World War II. Each so eloquent and each gave such a good viewpoint on what this day means.

I was also so humbled and proud to see the people in uniform: police, military, fire, and EMS services. All serving our country in some way. I was also amazed at the diversity and at the number of women serving. We can always all argue about the nature of war, but at the end of the day I respect those who are serving the country.

The closing of the ceremony was the playing of O Canada. People stood in respect and there was a singer. I sang my heart out torturing everyone near me with my off-key warbling. Most people didn't sing. I don't really get that. Maybe they thought we should all just listen to the singer, but I think it's beautiful to hear everyone sing the anthem. After that we were invited to go up to the Peoples' Wreath (after the podium had departed) and incorporate the poppies we were wearing into the wreath. It was very beautiful.

My feet were numb, my back was killing me, and I was so cold that it was over a half an hour before I could properly move my fingers again, but I'm so glad that I attended.

I know we get knocked all the time, but I'm very proud to be a civil servant. I do consider that one way of serving the country. But this ceremony made me reflect on how I can better serve my country and what causes I believe in. I need to get back involved in the fight for full rights for people living with HIV and for the rights of the LGBT community. I'm not making any time commitments or working to help anyone beyond friends and family right now and I realized that listening to the sacrifices of my countrymen and women. I can do more. I just need to figure out how.

6 comments:

eroswings said...

I applaud your support and your respect.

Have a peaceful Remembrance Day. Hope the weather is nice (or you've at least an umbrella, one preferably taken from the lost and found bin in the library).

Freak Magnet said...

That is awesome you're willing to stand in the rain to honor them. You definitely rock, girl!

CoffeeDog said...

I think the day should be a holiday for the entire world. Every country on this planet was affected by WWII, even if in an indirect way. Such a shame that only govt and banks in the US recognize this day.

Dantallion said...

Good on you.

Snooze said...

Eros: I was so cold. I lost all feeling in my fingers.

FM: It was so worth it (and it didn't rain after all)

CD: I always forget your military service. Kudos to you!

Dan: Good on *them*!

Stewie said...

You are such a good bird.

It's posts like this that make me wish I lived near you, if only to buy you a beer.