Remembrance Day

It’s the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of the 21st century. Today is Remembrance Day or Armistice Day and Veterans Day, whatever you wish to call it. A day for remembering the poor young men who sacrificed their lives for the evil politicians of the previous century. We are free (I think) because of their sacrifices. But war continues on in our world. Really, we haven’t advanced that much. Maybe next time, instead of invading and killing which is so common in acts of war, we try an aid program in the way of cash, education and sustainable development. It might be cost less for everybody.

Someone sent me this recently in an email, perhaps with thoughts of Remembrance Day. I’ve read them before and you may have too, but here they go again.

Remembrance Day

In France, at a fairly large conference, Prime Minister Steven Harper was asked by a French cabinet minister if Canadian involvement in Afghanistan was just an example of “empire building”.

Mr. Harper answered by saying, ‘Over the years, Canada has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.

You could have heard a pin drop.

A Canadian Admiral was attending a naval conference that Included Admirals from the Canadian, US, English, Australian and French Navies.

At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French Admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, North Americans generally learn only English.
He then asked, ‘Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?’

Without hesitating, the Canadian Admiral replied ‘Maybe it’s because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.’

You could have heard a pin drop.

When Robert Whiting, an elderly Canadian gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carryon at French Customs.

‘You have been to France before, monsieur?’ the customs officer asked sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

The official replied, ‘Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.’

The Canadian said, ‘The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.’

Impossible, Monsieur. Canadians always have to show passports on arrival in France!’

The Canadian senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look.

Then he quietly explained, ‘Well, when I came ashore on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.’

You could have heard a pin drop.

So, it’s 11/11/11 and it’s Remembrance Day again. I borrowed this lovely photograph from DasHorst on deviantART because it reminded me of a poem which begins, “In Flanders fields the poppies blow…”  It’s beautiful but sad.

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