Sunday, November 11, 2007
Je me souviens.

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

~Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae

I painted this crude image my 2nd year away from home while at university. In the province I was living in Remembrance Day hardly seemed to be remembered at all, which I found ironic as it hosts our nation's capital. Unless you worked for the government life went on as usual - school, work, etc. I remember finding it so strange to have classes that day and stranger to find that Remembrance Day wasn't mentioned at all. There were people wearing poppies here and there but that was it. I couldn't figure it out.

I had grown up with Remembrance Day being a big deal. In our territory it was a holiday. Most of the town, or so it seemed, would gather in the morning for the annual Remembrance Day service. The local cadets would participate, as would the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. At the end of the service everyone would walk down the main road, following veterans, members of the Rangers, Royal Canadian Legion and R.C.M.P. to the cennitaph. It is typically very cold and windy on November 11th and although the walk is short it is not comfortable.

That, I think, is a good thing.

If we can imagine the discomfort and suffering that men and women of our country went through, and continue to go through, to secure our freedom we will appreciate their commitment and sacrifice that much more.

This little painting was my response to a day where there seemed to be no response around me. It just felt wrong. So I observed the occasion myself in my residence room. Je me souviens.

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