Monday, 11 November 2013


I was all set to write about something else today when I started thinking about Remembrance Day. I thought about the many who sacrificed so much so that we can sit in the comfort of our homes free from fear and want.

I thought about my husband's paternal grandfather who was a German soldier (ok, he wasn't fighting for our freedom, but he did serve his country). He was taken prisoner by the Russians and it was only in the last several years that his wife was able to learn more details about his death.

My paternal grandfather helped to liberate the Philippines with the navy as an engineer in the Seabees. My uncle also enlisted in the military  My mom had an uncle who served in World War II and brought a bride home from Germany an absolutely beautiful woman who was a joy to know.

In this generation my husband's brother-in-law has served in the Canadian army for more than twenty years. He is currently deployed in Haiti. My sister's husband joined the Army Reserves a little less than a year ago fulfilling a lifelong dream to be a soldier.

I'm also thinking about a dear family friend who served in the Vietnam War. The stories he used to tell us when we visited their family. They're just flooding my mind right now leaving me in awe and wonder at what has happened for our freedom and the freedom of other nations.

But I don't want to forget those who support their men. My sister and sister-in-law both sacrifice as well as their husbands serve. They both have children that they have to parent alone while their husbands are deployed. My prayers and heart go out to them. Their children sacrifice time with Daddy without always understanding why Daddy is not there.

I've been thinking about the poem In Flanders Field. It was written by a Canadian - yeah! - who sadly died before the end of World War I and had no idea how popular and enduring his poem became. Years ago I read a response to In Flanders Field. Today, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I went in search of it. To my surprise several people have written responses or sequels. I think I found the one I remember and here it is.
Oh ! sleep in peace where poppies grow ;
The torch your falling hands let go,
Was caught by us, again held high,
A beacon light in Flander's sky,
That dims the stars to those below,
You are our dead, you held the foe,
And 'ere the poppies cease to blow,
We'll prove our faith in you who lie,
In Flanders field.

Oh ! rest in peace, we quickly go,
To you who bravely died, and know,
In other fields was heard the cry,
For freedom's cause of you who lie,
So still asleep where poppies grow,
In Flanders field.

As in rumbling sound, to and fro,
The lightning flashes, sky aglow,
The mighty hosts appear, and high,
Above the din of battle cry,
Scarce heard amidst the guns below,
Are fearless hearts who fight the foe,
And guard the place where poppies grow,
Oh ! sleep in peace, all you who lie,
In Flanders field.

And still the poppies gently blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
The larks, still soaring bravely high,
Are singing now their lullaby,
To you who sleep where poppies grow,
In Flanders field.
John Mitchell 

So on this Remembrance Day I am thankful for all those in my family and out who have served their country so faithfully. I am resolved to be worthy of their sacrifice, to not squander freedoms so dearly won. Words are not adequate to express my thanks for such sacrifice. Thank you to all who "are fearless hearts who fight the foe".

Do you have a vet in your family or circle of friends?


  1. You made me cry. Not only remembering those in our circle who served but also for what you said about me and the children. Not too many people think about what they give up as well (three of the four had their birthdays without Daddy last year). I love you and thank you and your family for your support of Edward and for accepting him into the family. <3

    1. I guess I think about how hard I would find it if Hugo was gone for weeks on end. I respect the fact that you and the children do your part by letting Edward have the freedom to go.

  2. That's a lovely post Jennifer - very thought provoking. I was moved yesterday by our own service in London :)

    1. It's hard not to be moved when you think of those in the prime of life surrendering it so others can live.

  3. Really well written, Jen. Thanks for your kind words.

    1. Thanks, Amber. As I've told you before, I don't count lightly the sacrifice you and your little ones make...just don't tell them I called them "little ones". :)

  4. This was a lovely, honoring post. I did not have time to write a post in honor of Veterans Day since I write and schedule weekend posts in advance; however, I did have a moment of silence.

    1. Thank you, Rachel. With uncles in the military my children are somewhat aware of what it takes for us to be free.

  5. Our children made thank you's for a coworker of Pierre's today (pics can be seen on my wall as Dave tagged me in it). I read them Psalm 91 this morning and explained "Veteran's Day" and then read "Flander's Field". It is good to remember those who have served and our children must not forget their history.

    1. And as we reinforce why we are thankful for vets someday it will really kick in for them just how much we have to be thankful for.

  6. I love this. Veterans Day means a lot to me because my brother is a US Marine. But I'm thankful for each and every one of the people who strive so hard to make sure that we are free. Thanks so much for posting this!