Sunday, November 11

Remembrance Day November 11, 2007

This is Remembrance Day in Canada. This is the one day a year that we honor our veterans.

On November 11, 1918, The Allied powers signed a cease-fire agreement with Germany at Rethondes, France, bringing World War I to a close. Between the wars, November 11 was commemorated as Armistice Day in the United States, Great Britain, and France. At the time, Canada was a British Colony and the war was also over for us.

My ancestors also fought in WWI. The Tollhurst brothers took part in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. One brother was wounded and his younger brother carried him miles to get medical aid. Then the younger brother went back into the action. At the end of it all, the older brother was blind and the younger brother lay dead in France. Such are the sad stories of war.

As I told you yesterday, my Uncle Bill landed at Dieppe. He was part of Operation Jubilee, which was a disaster. They shot those boys like sitting ducks in a pond. Uncle Bill was wounded - his friend died in his arms on the beach. Uncle Bill recuperated and was sent to Caan, where he was wounded so badly that he was sent home. He knew all of his life that there was a piece of sharpnel near his heart. He lead a normal life, but was aware that at anytime, the shrapnel could move. It did just that in 1980 and Uncle Bill died in his sleep.

We are losing so many of our veterans from WWII. There aren't many left. We need to educate our young people on the role these men and women played in protecting our freedom.

According to Saturday's Toronto Star, there is only one WWI Canadian veteran still living. We lost one in 2007. So the history of that war can only be found in archives and history books.

Thank a veteran today for the sacrifices he gave and is still giving. Shake his hand and show him that he did make a difference.

Why Wear A Poppy

Please wear a poppy," the lady said,

And held one forth, but I shook my head,

Then I stopped and watched as she offered them there,

And her face was old and lined with care;

But beneath the scars the years had made

There remained a smile that refused to fade.

A boy came whistling down the street,

Bouncing along on care-free feet.

His smile was full of joy and fun,"Lady," said he, "may I have one?"

When she'd pinned it on, he turned to say;

"Why do we wear a poppy today?"

The lady smiled in her wistful way And answered;

"This is Remembrance Day.

And the poppy there is a symbol for

The gallant men who died in war.

And because they did, you and I are free -

That's why we wear a poppy, you see.

I had a boy about your size,

With golden hair and big blue eyes.

He loved to play and jump and shout,

Free as a bird, he would race about.

As the years went by, he learned and grew,

And became a man - as you will, too.

He was fine and strong, with a boyish smile,

But he'd seemed with us such a little while

When war broke out and he went away.

I still remember his face that day.

When he smiled at me and said, 'Goodbye,

I'll be back soon, Mum, please don't cry.'

But the war went on and he had to stay,

And all I could do was wait and pray.

His letters told of the awful fight

(I can see it still in my dreams at night),

With the tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire,

And the mines and bullets, the bombs and fire.

Till at last, at last, the war was won -

And that's why we wear a poppy, son.

"The small boy turned as if to go,

Then said: "Thanks, lady, I'm glad to know."

I slunk away in a sort of shame,

And if you were me, you'd have done the same:

For our thanks, in giving, if oft delayed,

Though our freedom was bought - and thousands paid!

And so, when we see a poppy worn,

Let us reflect on the burden borne

By those who gave their very all

When asked to answer their country's call

That we at home in peace might live.

Then wear a poppy! Remember - and Give!

by Don Crawford


  1. Thanks for writing this tribute to our veterans. I can see that your family has been very personally touched by the sacrifices these men have made. Veterans day for us is Monday. I am so thankful for the veterans from amny countries who have fought to defend freedom everywhere.

  2. Denise,

    It's always nice to have you stop by. Hope all is well with you.


    Yes, our family has been deeply touched by both WWI and WWII. I also am thankful to all the veterans who have fought so we can live in freedom. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  3. Hello dear Mary, I didn't have time to visit during the day so I'm doing a few late visits! lol I loved this post and the previous you, I have family that were in the wars and we must never forget what they did for us. A beautiful tribute my friend...I've been wearing my poppy proudly all week:-) xoxo

  4. Pea,

    I have also been wearing my poppy proudly. The oldest grandson bought one at school on Friday. The younger one bought one today when we were at Wal Mart. The lady let him have it for a nickel because it was his own money. I added a bit to the collection box when he wasn't looking. LOL He was delighted.

    Thanks for dropping by.

  5. God bless all our veterans, past and present. My Daddy was a WW2 vet and many more of my family served.



  6. Hello Mary,
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and it's such a pleasure to "meet" you!

    I loved this well as all the wonderful things in your sidebar.

    My own husband is a veteran, since he served in the U.S. Navy...and I have always been interested in WWII in particular...I have such great admiration for those who fought during that time.

    What an incredible story of your uncle...thank you for sharing this with us.

    I homeschool my two girls, ages 8 and 5, and I try to make sure they (mainly my older child at the moment) learn about this era and the incredible sacrifices that were made back then.


  7. Yes we who share our opinions freely, should say a THANK YOU PRAYER each day for those who serviced in each war. It is rather sobering to go to a Veteran Cementery and see just how many sacrifices for us. When we went to San Diego, I remember seeing tombstone after tombstone with date of death as 1968. I do not think we ever really thanked those Vietnam vets properly.
    Again your post was an elequent tribute to the men and women who gave their service for our FREEDOM.
    Peace be with you.

  8. It's a difficult role to play and one that many veterans do not talk about, wearing their pride and their tales of valour discretely.

    And I to, if I see a Veteran out there, will share his, or her, hand.

    Many fight, and too few are honoured.

  9. What a wonderful tribute to veterans who have fought to keep us safe and free. My father was a World War II vet and my cousin served in Vietnam. They were among the lucky ones who came back to their families. I pray every day for those who are in harm's way now.

  10. Mary,

    Thank you for this beautiful and touching tribute. I was struck today by the words of the local weather forcaster. Usually, when they give the weather on days such as Memorial Day or Veterans Day, they tell us how the "holiday" weather will be and if it will be suitable for "celebrations" "holiday fun" or taking advantage of those "holiday sales". It always angers me. Today, this young forecaster said,"The rain won't be coming in until tonight so it won't interfere with your plans to commemorate Veteran's Day." It made such a difference to me that with this one sentence, this young man gave respect to the day, something the older ones should know, but apparently don't.

    Thank you, Mary! God bless all those who serve or have served anywhere in the world to protect freedom.


  11. I agree. Thanks for sharing this lovely tribute to all those that most certainly deserve it!


  12. Beautiful. And moving. Thank you.


  13. Wonderful....touching and very poignant. I have a tribute to veterans within my own family and around the world today also.

    Mary, you touched my heart with this blog entry.

  14. I'm Tammy's mom & saw that you had posted a tribute in honor of your Uncle, & the many other veterans,so dropped by to read it. I was a teenager when WW2 broke out so lived through those war years. Our knowledge of what as going on was limited to the newsreel footage at the theater & over the radio, not like the instant news on TV. It is great that both our countries have set aside this special day to honor our veterans.

  15. This was a lovely tribute to the our veterans! What a good job you did writing this! Thanks,Grams

  16. Thanks for your post and your kind words on my blog. Have a great week!

  17. Thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments on my Remembrance Day post. I appreciate your comments and cherish each of you.


  18. Dear Mary ~~ Great post for Remembrance Day and I especially liked the "Why Wear a Poppy" piece. Take care my friend, Love, Merle.

  19. What an absolutely wonderful post. The poem brought tears to my eyes.

  20. Hi again Mary ~~ Thank you for your comments. I am so glad you enjoyed The White Rose, even after seeing it before. Take care, my friend, Love

  21. Another great history lesson from someone who was directly related to it. I am always fasinated by personal history like that.

    Thank you for sharing. In my Bible study is a man of 92 years. He wasn't in the wars, but he remembers them. I can't remember why he wasn't in WWII? I think it had to do with some problem with him that the government wouldn't take him. But in anycase. It fasinates me hearing history personally like that.

    Ok, I may be ignorant about this. But what is a "poppy". Is it a Canadian term? I have never heard of that term before. I am young, so please forgive me. ;)

  22. I have many veterans of different wars in my life. They are all lovely men, and I'm so grateful they all made it home safely.
    The poppies aren't so easily found here abouts, these days. I remember when they were sold in front of every store around this time of year. I try to say thank you by supporting organizations that help veterans throughout the year.
    Best wishes to you!

  23. Your tribute is touching and so beautiful. I remember wearing a poppy every year when I was a child. Sadly, at least here locally I have not seen them.

  24. Thank you for your visit.

    That was a truly wonderful Tribute.

    God Bless You.