This November hubby and I stood with the crowds at the Ottawa, Ontario War Memorial. On the 11th day, at the 11th hour, we fell silent with all gathered, both young and old, letting our thoughts, our memories, and our grief for the past, join and merge as one.
Our present day is saturated with such fear, for our present day, for our future, at times it feels overwhelming. This suffocating emotion rose, twirling, and mixing in the air around us that day, and the crowd, seeming to sense the fear, pulled closer, wrapping us in a cocoon of warmth. We were bumped, jostled and herded towards the barriers stretching along the street, muttering together our hymn of sorry, sorry as we smiled shyly with downcast eyes. So, Canadian, all of us.
The clanging of the flag ties against the line of poles behind us, sounded like a persistent drum beat keeping pace with our push forward. The echo of the gun salute boomed in the distance, the sound staying with us as the ceremony continued. The day was so bright, its edges sharp and distinct, imprinting each moment easily into memory.
All of us assembled at the Cenotaph understood why we were there, why we must remember. I caught a movement high above, on the roof of a building cross the way, police watching the crowd, there’s two more on the building right next to it. I turned and looked up the impressive height of the Chateau Laurier hotel, there too, on the very top balcony, there were more. A stark reminder, that all are not looking for peace in this world of ours.
I left Ottawa with my fear intact, it’s true, however my visit allowed me the remembrance I needed, plus I left a prayer behind for those we lost, coupled with a sincere promise that those who care, will not let history repeat itself.