A minute of silence has just passed. I wondered what each veteran, who stands so proudly in front of me, gnarled hands holding flags high, flags of Canada, of British Columbia, of the UN, of regiments. What memory is the poignant one upon which their thoughts dwell in this eternal present minute?
Is it the moment of fear as they are stranded in a hut at the edge of a minefield, once a farm field, full of life now sown with death, bullets whizzing past their heads, from an anonymous invisible enemy?
Is it the moment of terror as they hide behind a house that sheltered them from a predatory enemy, but the dull thud of boots and rattle of tank treads providing early warning and time to hide. Praying for silence and wishing that the heart did not beat so loudly in case their position was given away by fear.
Is it the moment when they walked into a town, liberating it from monsters disguised as men?
Is it the moment when they find a shattered doll, with unblinking eyes having at the sky, lying in the mud, and knew for certain that the doll’s owner was lying in that same mud, over the hillock?
Is it the moment when they came back to Canada expecting to be heroes but instead find themselves strangers in their own homeland?
* * *
A bald eagle just flew overhead as we all bowed our heads and prayed to God for those who served and for those who serve.
May those memories be uplifted, and uplift.
And may they never be forgotten.