On November 11, 1999 Terry Kelly was in a Shoppers Drug Mart store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. At 10:55 AM an announcement came over the store’s PA asking customers who would still be on the premises at 11:00 AM to give two minutes of silence in respect to the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us.
Terry was impressed with the store’s leadership role in adopting the Legion’s “two minutes of silence” initiative. He felt that the store’s contribution of educating the public to the importance of remembering was commendable.
When eleven o’clock arrived on that day, an announcement was again made asking for the “two minutes of silence” to commence. All customers, with the exception of a man who was accompanied by his young child, showed their respect.
Terry’s anger towards the father for trying to engage the store’s clerk in conversation and for setting a bad example for his child was later channeled into a beautiful piece of work called, “A Pittance of Time.” (link: www.army.forces.gc.ca/chief_land_staff/remembrance/English/home.asp )
I first found this video last year (thanks, Don!) and no matter how many times I listen to this amazing song and watch this video, I am ALWAYS moved by the enormity of what our nations’ veterans have given. I am always reminded what a “Pittance of Time” it takes to honour and remember them all, both past and present day veterans.
The National War Memorial stands majestically in Confederation Square in the heart of downtown Ottawa with the Parliament Buildings and the distant Gatineau Hills in the background. Rising 21 metres from its base, the memorial consists of an arch of granite surmounted by emblematic bronze figures of Peace and Freedom. Shown advancing through the archway are 22 bronze figures symbolic of the “Great Response” of the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who answered the call to serve.
All branches of the service engaged in the war are represented. The figures are one-third greater than life size, each standing about 2.44 metres tall. Care was taken to place the group in the design at such a height from ground level that it would be possible for the public to see the figures from any point of view without undue fore-shortening of the sculptured group. Each figure is historically correct in detail of uniform and equipment and typical of the branch it represents. In the faces of the marching figures there is character and purpose, sincerity and good intent. The figures are not shown in fighting attitudes, but rather express movement and the enthusiasm and eagerness of the people. [link: http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=memorials/memcan/national/Memorial]
That site has so much information on the amazing history of Canada’s military. Well worth a read! There are many pictures of the memorials set across the land, as well as an in-depth timeline of all the wars Canada has been involved in.
Today, as always, I am especially mindful of all those loved ones who have given the ultimate sacrifice as they served my adopted country, and became a proud part of our history. Today, as always, my heart is with our active servicemen and women, and those here at home who love them.
THIS Canadian will always remember – and honour them all.