November 11, 2013
Today is Remembrance Day. The day we wear a red poppy and remember all who sacrificed their lives so we can live in a country free of war. I think of the families and the sadness they have had to endure, the loss of their loved ones… fathers, sons, grandfathers, daughters, etc. and the choice they made to serve our country so we can enjoy freedom. Freedom that sometimes I think we take for granted and shouldn’t.
I think about the Remembrance Day assemblies at school and how touching and beautiful they were and continue to be. I remember when you were here and how the school assembly would sometimes bring me to tears as I watched you and your friends, and your brothers when they were still at Banded Peak, pay tribute to our Canadian soldiers. I remember explicitly how you could go from being a rambunctious, fun-loving boy who needed to be “gently” reminded at every assembly to settle down, to be quiet, to listen… to needing no reminders at the Remembrance Day assembly. How you’d sit on the gymnasium floor with your eyes and ears wide open taking in the words, the music, the message. I remember how proud I felt of you and of everyone in our school for being attentive and respectful when it was so important. This assembly is still one of my favourites, Will, as it renews my sense of faith in people, young and old, and gives me a chance to really appreciate the country we are so fortunate to call home.
You must know, Will, that at every school assembly my eyes always find their way to your school jersey (your favourite number, 8) that is framed so beautifully above the volleyball banner that the school team you were a part of won the year you were taken from us. It hangs there with the words “WillPower” above it as a tribute to you. Each time I look at it I am reminded of the good in people, of the love that is abundant in our community but also of the fragility of life. At the Remembrance Day assembly I shed a tear for all who had lost their lives fighting for freedom and I shed a tear for you knowing that you lost your life having the time of your life. Now, if that’s not an oxymoron…
I miss you, Will; all day everyday, and all the soldiers in heaven have loved ones who are missing them too. Can you do me a favour? When you see a soldier up there, please take their hand and say “thank you”. I can just imagine you up there sporting a big, red poppy today. Just like me down here. And that makes me smile.
Hugs and busses,