Every November the poppy reminds us … of what? What does the phrase “lest we forget” and the little red flower remind you of? Of war? More than that. Of veterans? More than them. Of bravery? More than that. We are reminded of our culture and what it stands for, because that is exactly what the brave soldiers fought for. Around the globe people are observing the 100th anniversary of the start of the “War to end all wars,” World War I. There was a ceremony in Ottawa, our nation’s capital, on August 4th. Prime Minister Stephen Harper laid a wreath at the National War Memorial, and, recounting how 650,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders* fought in WWI he said, “Canada is still today loyal to our friends, unyielding to our foes, honourable in our dealings, and courageous in our undertakings. This remains the character of our country.” There is a series on CBC TV on Sunday nights called The Doc Zone, and their recent series entitled THE GREAT WAR re-enacts scenes of WWI in England, France, and Belgium. http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/episodes/the-great-war-part-1 The producers of THE GREAT WAR explain, “In 2005, CBC-TV and Galafilm put out a call to descendants of Canadian First World War soldiers to participate in the living history component of the Great War project. Over 6,500 Canadians applied and 150 made the final cut to take part in vivid battle recreations, and to experience what their ancestors went through in the killing grounds of Europe. Of the 150, 14 descendants were chosen for a special mission – to travel to the battlefields of England, France and Belgium where their ancestors fought and sometimes gave their lives. “In documentary style, THE GREAT WAR follows the 14 young men and women – representing a cross-section of Canada – as they voyage through time to understand their ancestors’ experience as soldiers and nurses at the front. Viewers will watch as the great-grandchildren relive the horror of that time and how they are transformed by it.” It is so important to pass on our cultural stories and through them, our principles and ideals to our children. Let truth, justice, steadfast courage, and freedom from tyranny, pass on to our children and keep us strong.
*Newfoundland was a colony and dominion of the United Kingdom until March 1949, when it became the 10th province of Canada.Meg