Remembrance Day 2013

British & Canadian Poppies, French Cornflower
British & Canadian Poppies, French Cornflower

This is my first post in ages and it falls at the close of a very important day: Remembrance Day.

This is my first Remembrance Day outside of Canada. It was thrilling to see everyone in England wearing poppies. With my husband being in an international unit I learned that not all nations commemorate by wearing red poppies. The French celebrate by wear le Bleuet de France (Cornflower).

I also learned that the Dutch celebrate their Remembrance Day (Dodenherdenking) on May 4th, the day that the Canadian, Polish and French liberated Netherlands from the occupation in World War II. It is thanks to the Netherlands that Ottawa enjoys such a lovely tulip festival in the spring.

I had to go shopping this morning so I set the alarm on my phone to alert me to take 2 minutes of silence at 11h00. I happened to be in a department store when the alarm sounded. At that moment, a voice came over the loud speaker to announce that all store staff would be observing 2 minutes of silence and the tills would be closed during that time. NO ONE in the store moved. No one spoke. Not staff, not customers. All you could hear was the escalator running.

Two minutes. Once a year. It never seems like it’s enough.

3 thoughts on “Remembrance Day 2013

  1. Thank you, Jacki. Those 2 minutes of silence in the store spoke volumes. I am ambivalent about having a holiday — but then, people died so that we could have the freedom to choose…

  2. Thank you for this post! Its both heart-warming and fascinating to learn how other countries remember.

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