Remembrance Day is coming soon.
I usually turn up at the Cenotaph to watch my son and his Scout troop on parade. There with the cadets in their various uniforms. Alongside the legionnaires in blue jackets and medals. White gloves holding fast to standards of province and country, battalion and regiment. Listen to the speeches, see the wreaths laid in ranks that mimic the neatly arrayed headstones in Canadian cemeteries in France, or Belgium, Germany or some other field of battle turned final resting place.
Wait for the bugle. Pray.
Most often I think of my Grandfathers. One serving in the Royal Navy from WWl to his death in 1943, lost below the waves of the Aegean with many of his crewmates. Laid to rest in His Majesty’s Ship Hurworth. The other sticking to the trenches in Vimy, gassed and attacked, shelled and shot at. Living well past the war, to die shortly after I was born.
I never knew them, but I think of them. Their pictures show men with kind eyes, tinged, maybe with a bit of sorrow. Could be I’m only imagining that, though.
Perhaps I’m seeing in their eyes the eyes of a man I did know. Jack navigated bombers in the last years of the war. Flying from England to Germany. Continue reading In Memory Not Sweet